ZIKA on the prowl again!

Posted on 29/01/2016

ZIKA on the prowl again!

The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for a number of countries in Central and South America, some Caribbean islands and Cape Verde and Samoa to reflect the health advice of NaTHNaC in relation to the Zika Virus.

ZIKA is a dengue-like virus that is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The infection often occurs without symptoms but can also cause an illness similar to dengue. The condition is usually mild and short-lived – severe disease is uncommon. However, a possible link between exposures to Zika virus in pregnancy has been noted. The CDC recommends that women who have recently travelled to infected areas during their pregnancy be screened and monitored for the virus.

That’s because the virus has been linked to an uptick in babies born with a neurological condition called microcephaly, which can cause abnormally small heads and serious, sometimes deadly, developmental delays.

NaTHNaC advises if you are pregnant you should consider avoiding travel to areas where ZIKA outbreaks are currently reported. If travel is unavoidable, or you live in areas where ZIKA is reported, you should take scrupulous insect bite avoidance measures, both during daytime and night time hours. Remember to inform your obstetrician or midwife if you have recently travelled to a country where ZIKA is known to occur.

If you are planning to become pregnant, you should discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider to assess your risk of infection with ZIKA and receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures.

ABTA would recommend that pregnant women due to travel to any of the destinations affected should seek medical advice from their GP and where it is necessary to change or cancel their holiday arrangements in light of the NaTHNaC advice request that their GP provides them with medical certificate in order to assist with them with  any possible  insurance claim.

This new health advice from NaTHNaC highlights just how important it is to both check Foreign Office travel advice and purchase travel insurance which covers your holiday arrangements from the moment you have booked your travel arrangements.

Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the latest travel advice.

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