The CDC added more countries to its interim travel guidance related to the Zika virus on Friday, including Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, Guyana, Cape Verde and Samoa.
A Level 2 travel alert was also issued by the CDC on Jan. 15 for those traveling to countries that have ongoing Zika virus transmission, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela.
Common symptoms of Zika virus infection include mild headaches, fever, malaise, pink eye and joint pains. The illness is generally mild, with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. Data also suggests that mothers who were infected with Zika virus during their first trimester of pregnancy are at an increased risk of having a child born with microcephaly.
No vaccine or preventive drug is available against Zika virus, though symptoms may be treated with paracetamol. The best method of avoiding infection is to prevent mosquito bites, which are the primary transmission method for the virus. The mosquitos responsible for spreading Zika virus, as well as chikungunya and dengue fever, are aggressive during the daytime and live both indoors and outdoors near people.
Guillain-Barré syndrome has also been reported in patients exhibiting probable Zika virus infection in both Brazil and French Polynesia.