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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Zika Virus Infection in Cuba

16 Mar 2016

The Ministry of Health in Cuba has reported the first locally acquired case of Zika virus infection in the country. The case is 21-year-old female resident of Centro Habana municipality, Havana province, with no history of travel. An investigation into the case is underway.

ECDC has added Cuba to the list of countries with Zika virus confirmed; transmission is considered sporadic in the past two months.

Advice for Travellers

Avoidance of mosquito bites, particularly during daylight hours, is recommended for all travellers. Due to the possible link between Zika virus infection and birth defects, pregnant women, or those planning pregnancy are strongly urged to seek pre-travel advice from their health care provider. It is recommended that pregnant women postpone non-essential travel to Zika affected countries. If travel is essential, rigorous measures to avoid mosquito bites both during daytime and nightime hours should be followed.

Women who have visited a Zika affected area whilst pregnant should arrange to have their next antenatal check promptly on return home, even if feeling well. This is not intended to cause undue anxiety, but merely as a precaution. In addition, medical attention must be sought quickly for any feverish illness experienced whilst travelling or on return.

Bite avoidance measures include: covering up with clothing, the use of insect repellent and bed nets impregnated with insecticide. Reduction of mosquito breeding sites around hotel rooms/homes is advised for longer term stays.