USA - Zika virus update: CDC updates travel guidance

March 15, 2017
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US)

Four countries added to interim travel guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with other public health officials to monitor for ongoing spread of Zika virus‎. On March 10, 2017 CDC posted a Zika virus travel notice for Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives and Solomon Islands. CDC has issued travel notices (level 2, “practice enhanced precautions”) for people traveling to destinations with Zika. For a full list of affected countries/regions, visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information.

Travel guidance for pregnant women

CDC has also updated its Zika travel guidance on March 10, 2017 and now recommends that pregnant women not travel to any area where there is a risk of Zika virus infection, including areas where the virus has been newly introduced or reintroduced and local mosquito-borne transmission is ongoing; areas where the virus was present before 2015 (endemic) and there is no evidence transmission has stopped; and areas where the virus is likely to be circulating but has not been documented.

To help pregnant women and others identify areas of Zika risk, CDC published a new interactive World Map of Areas with Zika Risk that allows people to search for location-specific Zika information and travel recommendations. CDC also published an interactive "Know Your Zika Risk" tool that offers tailored risk and prevention messages based on information provided by travelers.  In addition, CDC's Zika testing recommendations for pregnant women have been aligned with these three risk categories, as depicted in a new map for healthcare providers to use for evaluating and caring for pregnant women possibly exposed to an area with Zika risk.

CDC update

From January 1, 2015 to March 15, 2017, there have been 5,139 Zika virus disease cases reported in the US. Of these cases:

  • 4,842 cases were in travelers returning from affected areas
  • 222 cases acquired through presumed local mosquito-borne transmission in Florida (N=216) and Texas (N=6)
  • 75 cases acquired through other routes, including sexual transmission (N=45), congenital infection (N=28), laboratory transmission (N=1), and person-to-person through an unknown route (N=1).

Meanwhile there were 1,534 pregnant women with any laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection in the US as of February 21, 2017.

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