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Zika outbreak: travel consideration issued by CDC for 11 Southeast Asian countries

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pregnant women consider postponing travel to 11 Southeastern Asian countries because of the risk of Zika virus infection. 

The U.S. department said Thursday it’s issuing the “special travel considerations so that travelers, especially pregnant women, can make informed decisions about their travel and their health.”

The countries are:

  • Brunei.
  • Burma (Myanmar).
  • Cambodia.
  • Indonesia.
  • Laos.
  • Malaysia.
  • Maldives.
  • Philippines.
  • Thailand.
  • Timor-Leste (East Timor).
  • Vietnam.

Zika virus has been present in areas of Southeast Asia for many years, and several countries have reported occasional cases or small outbreaks.

Recently, more cases have been reported in Southeast Asia. The CDC said the changes may reflect greater awareness of Zika virus and surveillance and testing or more intense transmission. 

Travelers should use insect repellent for three weeks after returning home from areas with Zika to help stop the spread of Zika at home. 

Zika virus infection during pregnancy causes severe birth defects, including microcephaly (abnormally small head) and severe fetal brain abnormalities.

Some people who are infected with Zika do not have any symptoms, which include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. 

The sickness is usually mild with symptoms that last from several days to a week. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada says experts agree that Zika virus infection also causes Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a neurological disorder that can cause temporary paralysis.

Zika virus infection can also be sexually transmitted. 

There is no vaccine or medication to protect against Zika virus infection

Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/zika-southeast-asia-1.3784750?cmp=rss