Zika Virus Infection in Venezuela (Update)
14 Mar 2016
The media have reported on the Zika virus situation in Venezuela. Nationally as of 3 March 2016, a total of 505 200 suspected cases have been reported according to the Venezuelan Public Health Society. A total of 641 cases have been confirmed as ZIKV and 3935 cases of microcephaly are under investigation.
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.