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Zika Virus Infection in Guatemala (Update)

04 Feb 2016

Further cases of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection have been reported in Guatemala. Nationally, as of 30 January 2016, a total of 200 suspected cases have been identifed and of those, 105 have been laboratory-confirmed as ZIKV. The majority (68) were reported in 2015, 37 cases have been reported in 2016, thus far.

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. They should be helped to understand the risks and to make an informed decision on whether to change their travel plans. If the decision is made to travel, strict measures to avoid mosquito bites both during daytime and nightime hours should be followed.

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.