CDC adds Cuba to Zika virus watch list

CDC reports a level-two travel notice for Cuba concerning Zika virus transmission.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a level-two travel notice for Cuba concerning Zika virus transmission and is working with local health officials in areas that have been determined to contain the virus.

The Zika virus is transmitted through mosquitos that are extremely active in the daytime, but that also bite at night. Anyone traveling to areas with Zika virus is capable of becoming infected; and, as there are no vaccines or medications against the Zika virus, it is important to prevent mosquito bites. There have also been reports of sexual transmission, so until further information is released, the CDC recommends pregnant women and their male partners stay out of areas that have been confirmed for Zika virus, go through all precautions to prevent mosquito bites and to use condoms.

Zika virus does not immediately show symptoms -- sometimes not ever -- and so travelers that may have contracted the virus may not know until they have already left. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint discomfort and red eyes, and may last up to a week. Upon leaving an area with confirmed Zika virus infections, it is important to continue using insect repellent for three weeks to avoid other mosquito bites.

Although the mortality rate and need for high hospitalization is low, travelers should keep watch for symptoms, and tell a health care official immediately once symptoms show. The professional health representative will want to know when and where infected victims have traveled. Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has also been discovered in patients that most likely have the Zika virus, and research continues to figure out their association.

The CDC home page contains additional information, including a map of affected areas.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1600 Clifton Rd Atlanta, GA 30329

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