The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Tuesday that it has added two new destinations to its Zika virus travel alert list – the United States Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic.
CDC officials had previously issued a Level-2 travel alert for people traveling to Puerto Rico, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Martin, Samoa, Suriname and Venezuela.
The agency also warned women who are pregnant or may become pregnant to alter their travel plans until more information becomes readily available.
Officials warned that travelers who contract the virus may not show symptoms until they return home — with some not showing any symptoms at all. Symptoms of Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain, muscle pain, headache and red eyes.
The best way of avoiding Zika virus infection is to stay away from mosquitoes and where they typically breed, such as wet areas.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has also been reported in patients with probable Zika virus infection in French Polynesia and Brazil. Research efforts are currently under way to examine the link between Zika and GBS.