The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently added new countries to its travel guidelines concerning the Zika virus, warning people who travel to these regions that the virus is at large.
The countries include Barbados, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Saint Martin and Samoa. These are in addition to the previously added countries: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Surname and Venezuela.
Health officials have found it difficult to determine the exact regions where Zika is most likely to be transmitted, as these areas and likelihoods will change as the virus spreads.
The CDC will continue to update its travel alerts as more information is revealed. Travelers should be aware of the risks they are taking when they travel to certain regions, which may also have higher chances of chikungunya and dengue viruses. It is most likely that people who contract these diseases will be infected while they are traveling, only showing symptoms after they return home.
Mosquitoes that transmit these three viruses are more aggressive, biting people during daytime hours. These mosquitoes also tend to live outdoors nearby people or indoors inside people’s residences.
There are no vaccines or treatments available for Zika.