While the Zika virus isn't making headlines as much lately, it's still present in popular vacation spots here in the U.S. and abroad.
According to the latest reports, there is a risk of Zika in the following places:
- All of Central America
- Brazil, French Guiana, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina
- Most of the central countries of Africa
- Several southeast Asian countries, including India, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Malaysia and Fiji
Zika has also been reported in parts of Texas and Florida.
Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for Zika travel information for the most up-to-date news.
How Zika spreads
The most common way people get Zika is through mosquito bites. Pregnant woman who are infected may also give the virus to their baby during pregnancy or delivery.
The virus can also be spread through sexual contact.
Effects of Zika
Zika is especially dangerous for women who become infected while pregnant and for both men and women who are infected while trying to conceive. Zika causes neurological disorders such as microcephaly, a birth defect that causes babies to be born with unusually small heads and brain damage.
Few people who are infected with Zika get sick, and when they do they usually experience only mild flu-like symptoms. Because of this, many people don't realize they've been infected. According to the CDC, the most common symptoms are:
- Joint pain
- Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
How to protect yourself
There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Zika. Whether you're trying to conceive, are pregnant or just want to avoid getting sick while traveling, there are ways to stay safe when you're away from home:
- Talk with your doctor about your travel plans.
- Avoid mosquitos and getting bitten.
- Use a condom when having sex.
Published on July 16, 2016; updated June 7, 2017.