The CDC Has Placed These Caribbean Countries Under A Zika Travel Alert

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zika-spraying-French-Guiana
Agent of the sanitary department destroys mosquito larvae nests in Cayenne, French Guiana. The French government has mobilized reservists in the French overseas departments and territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana to fight against the epidemic of zika. (Photo credit: JODY AMIET/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By NAN Contributor

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Aug. 19, Aug.  2016: The Zika virus is putting a damper on everyone’s travel plans as the US’ Center for Disease Control continues to expand its non-essential travel notices for more than two dozen Caribbean countries.

The latest country added to the list is the Cayman Islands due to recent local cases of the mosquito borne virus there. Women who are pregnant are especially being warned to avoid the Cayman Islands as well as the following countries:

  • Guadeloupe
  • Bonaire
  • Curacao
  • French Guiana
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Saint Lucia
  • Cuba
  • Turks & Caicos
  • Belize
  • Saint Martin
  • Sint Maarten
  • Puerto Rico
  • Martinique
  • Aruba
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Jamaica
  • Suriname
  • Haiti
  • Guyana
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Saba
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • St. Barts
  • Dominica
  • Anguilla
  • St. Eustacius
  • Grenada

Travelers are also encouraged to protect themselves from mosquito bites; use mosquito repellants with DEET and use condoms if engaging in sexual activity or not have sex if travelling to the islands as there is no vaccine currently for the disease and Zika can be transmitted by sex.

Many people infected with the Zika virus do not get sick but among those who do develop symptoms, the sickness is usually mild, with symptoms that last for several days to a week. The Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare disorder that can cause muscle weakness and paralysis for a few weeks to several months.  Current CDC research suggests that GBS is strongly associated with Zika but only a small proportion of people with recent Zika virus infection get GBS. Most people fully recover from GBS, but some have permanent damage.