Zika virus and travel

ADC Travel Clinic nurse and director Crystal Cherico visited the KXAN studio to discuss the Zika virus, the recent WHO health emergency declaration and travel for women and spring breakers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared the Zika outbreak as a health emergency.  They advised pregnant women to take precautions and to try to avoid outbreak areas when traveling.

Precautions for Spring break travel and pregnant women:

  • Use an insect repellent with 30-35% DEET or 20% Picaridin – most insect repellents sold in US are only 7-10% DEET.
  • Wear long sleeved clothing and pants.  Ms. Cherico says some insect repellent sprays with permethrin are especially designed for spraying clothing and can last up to 10 hours if properly treated.
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend pregnant women should avoid travel to these areas due to possible the microcephaly connection in infected individuals.  Microcephaly is a birth defect which produces babies with smaller than expected heads and brains which may cause sensory, cognitive and neurological disorders in newborns.

Takeaway Message?

  • Although worrisome, Crystal says people should remember that the Zika Virus is mild in most individuals
  • No major concerns, unless you are pregnant
  • The amount of Deet and Pricardin in the repellents above are safe for pregnant women to use.

For more information about safe travels visit ADC’s Travel Clinic or call 512-901-4486.