Updated 5/17/2016

(Source: CDC)
Mosquite Bite Protection for Pregnant Women
Mosquito Bite Prevention for Travelers
Mosquito Bite Prevention within U.S.
Travel Advice for Pregnant Women
Zika Information Flyer

What is the Zika Virus?

ARC providers follow the CDC recommendations about travel health and prevention regarding the Zika Virus. There is no vaccine to prevent Zika or medicine to treat it. Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, sexual contact, and blood transfusion. There is no evidence that it is transmitted through the air, through touch, or through sneezing or coughing. Take preventive measures and call your ARC care team if you develop a fever with a rash, joint pain, or red eyes after travel to a region identified with Zika or sexual contact with someone who traveled to one of these regions. ARC providers support the CDC recommendation for pregnant women or women who are trying to become pregnant to postpone travel to areas with mosquitos infected with Zika Virus.

The CDC has issued a Level-2 alert (recommended to practice enhanced precautions) for people traveling to the Caribbean, Central America, South America, the Pacific Islands of Samoa and American Samoa, and the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa. For pregnant women or women who are trying to become pregnant, the CDC recommends postponing travel to these areas. ARC providers support the CDC recommendation.

What can travelers do to prevent Zika?

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing 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.

Symptoms of Zika

Source: CDC

  • About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).
  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
  • People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.
  • Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some people.

If you feel sick and think you may have Zika:

  • Talk to your doctor or nurse if you develop a fever with a rash, joint pain, or red eyes. Tell him or her about your travel.
  • Take medicine, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain. Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
  • Get lots of rest and drink plenty of liquids.
  • Prevent additional mosquito bites to avoid spreading the disease.

Traveler Information