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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Zika Virus Infection in Colombia (Update)

04 Apr 2016

Cases of Zika virus infection continue to be reported in Colombia. A total of 56 477 cases have been recorded. Of those, 10 812 are pregnant women of whom, 997 have been confirmed as infected with Zika virus. As of 19 March 2016, 50 babies have congenital abnormalities.

Active ZIKV transmission has been reported in the departments of Meta, Quindao and Valle del Cauca.

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.