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Suzanne asked...

Should I be worried about the zika virus?

I'm going on holiday soon. Should I be worried about the Zika Virus?

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The answer

At the moment ZikaVirus outbreaks have been reported in South and Central America, the Caribbean and the Pacific region. It is currently predicted that it could spread to all countries in the Americas (with the exception of Canada).

Transmission of Zika is mainly spread by mosquitos, and isn’t usually harmful to most people. However, the reason it is a cause for concern is because there is evidence it may be more serious for pregnant women causing birth defects – in particular, abnormally small heads (microcephaly).

If you’re travelling to one of the areas affected by Zika, you should seek travel health advice four to six weeks before your trip from your Gp Practice Nurse or a travel clinic. If you are pregnant, current advisories state it’s advisable to postpone all non-essential travel to areas with active Zika virus.

For further guidance, including where to find travel health advice before your trip and more information about the virus itself, see our article on the Zika virus outbreak.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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