Important Information about Zika Virus
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are found throughout much of the Central and South Americas, as well as in parts of the United States. Zika virus transmission has also been documented during both pregnancy and delivery. Zika virus RNA has been detected in breast milk, but Zika virus transmission through breastfeeding has not been documented.
The only way to prevent congenital Zika virus infection is to prevent maternal infection, either by avoiding areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing or strictly following steps to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquito-bite prevention includes using air conditioning or window and door screens when indoors, wearing long sleeves and pants, using permethrin-treated clothing and gear, and using insect repellents. When used according to the product label, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellents are safe for pregnant women.
As of this time, no locally transmited cases of Zika have been reported within the Continental US, but cases have been reported in Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. There have also been multiple cases of Zika in returning travelers. These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States.
The long term health consequences for healthy children and adolescents who contract Zika are unknown. At this time the CDC is not recommending against travel for healthy non-pregnant individuals.
If you do plan to travel to a country or region where Zika is present, you should follow the guidelines for prevention of mosquito bites
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. Always use as directed.
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
    • Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children aged >2 months.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.
Furthermore, sexual transmission of Zika virus from a male partner is possible. If you have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) with a male partner while traveling, you should use condoms the right way every time. Condoms can also help prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The Zika virus epidemic is ongoing and we are learning new information daily. The full CDC discussion about Zika as well as updated travel and prevention recommendations can be found at:

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