Local mosquito transmission of Zika virus infection (Zika) has been reported in the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as in Antigua and Barbuda. Local mosquito transmission means that mosquitoes in the area are infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people.
Because Zika virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes, CDC recommends that travelers to the Turks and Caicos Islands protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Zika Virus in Pregnancy
A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. CDC recommends special precautions for the following groups:
- Women who are pregnant:
- Should not travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
- If you must travel, talk to your doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
- If you have a partner who lives in or has traveled to the Turks and Caicos Islands, either use condoms (or other barriers to prevent infection) or do not have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) during your pregnancy.
- Women who are trying to become pregnant:
- Before you or your partner travel, talk to your doctor about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection.
- See CDC guidance for how long you should wait to get pregnant after travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
- You and your partner should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
- People who have traveled to the Turks and Caicos Islands and have a pregnant partner should use condoms or not have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) during the pregnancy.
Sexual transmission of Zika virus is also possible, so travelers are encouraged to use condoms (or other barriers to prevent infection) or not have sex.
Many people infected with Zika virus do not get sick. Among those who do develop symptoms, sickness is usually mild, with symptoms that last for several days to a week. 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; however, only a small proportion of people with recent Zika virus infection get GBS. Most people fully recover from GBS, but some have permanent damage. For more information,
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