Zika Virus Cases Prompt Travel Advisories

The Public Health Agency of Canada and CDC are now urging travelers to protect themselves from mosquito bites when traveling to areas where Zika virus is circulating.

With Zika virus recently being reported for the first time in Mexico and a number of countries in Central and South America, and now Brazil's Ministry of Health identifying a possible relationship between the mosquito-borne virus and an increase in babies born with microcephaly, the Public Health Agency of Canada is now urging travelers to protect themselves from mosquito bites when traveling to areas where Zika virus is circulating.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Dec. 18 cautioned Americans to take precautions against mosquito bites if they plan to travel to South America, Mexico, or Central America.

There is no vaccine or medication that protects against Zika virus infection.

Past outbreaks of Zika virus infection have been reported in Africa, Asia, and the Oceanic Pacific region, according to the agency.

The virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms can include fever, headache, conjunctivitis (pink eye). and rash, along with joint and muscle pain. The illness is typically mild and lasts only a few days. For the latest updates on countries affected by Zika virus, please visit this World Health Organization page.

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