The advice issued by the CDC is not definitive, but the extent of the abnormalities appears to be unusual
The guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control regarding particular guidelines on what to do in cases of Zika is not definitive, but the extent of the abnormalities appears to be unusual, and to be specific to certain types of tourists, including travellers to a large number of cities in the southern United States.
Can I get Zika while travelling to a Zika-affected country?
Yes, if you are not taking measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites such as wearing long sleeves and pants, keeping doors and windows shut, and protecting your luggage with insect repellant. You could also get Zika while travelling to pregnant women.
When travelling to northern parts of the world, precautions are not necessary
All passengers on flights out of Brazil, for example, would be infected if they visit the coastal city of Recife, although passengers could travel through any of the Brazilian states of Pernambuco and Bahia, as well as in far-flung jungle areas like the state of Roraima, which borders Venezuela. Again, the probability of getting Zika is not high in these regions.
How do the guidelines differ for women in particular?
Generally, the advice is to avoid pregnancy when planning travel to Zika-affected areas. A clear statement about this will be issued later.
Is there any reason not to travel to a Zika-affected country?
There is no credible evidence that women in these areas should delay pregnancy. However, all pregnant women are recommended to consult with their doctor and to discuss the nature of their travel plans and possible risks before leaving the country. In addition, careful planning and precautions can help to reduce the risk of Zika infection, such as mosquito avoidance.
But isn’t travel to Zika-affected areas still recommended?
Yes, although there will be specific guidance as to when it is safe to travel by CDC.
Why should I care?
As with other mosquito-borne viruses, such as dengue and chikungunya, Zika can be extremely serious for developing fetuses. The virus has been found to lead to severe birth defects, including microcephaly, a disease in which the baby’s head is abnormally small and head size differs from normal.