The Facts on Zika Virus

by Penny Gleave RN, BScN

The Facts on Zika Virus

by Penny Gleave RN, BScN

by Penny Gleave RN, BScN

Get the Facts on Zika Virus

The winter months are a great time to escape from the dark and rainy season.  The majority of the travellers we are seeing in our clinics are escaping to warm destinations where Zika Virus is a risk.

Prevention is key to avoid this illness while you are travelling.  Below are some facts on Zika Virus that every traveller should consider before they depart for a winter getaway.


+ Zika is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and it can also be passed on through sex

+ Zika Virus can cause a rash, fever, joint pain and red eyes that usually lasts up to a week

+ Only 1 in 4 people show signs and symptoms of Zika

+ There is no treatment for Zika Virus and there is no vaccine

+ Zika is linked to birth defects



+ Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes

+ use insect repellent with 20% Icaridin or 30% DEET

+ cover up with clothing when mosquitoes are present

+ avoid conceiving for 6 months (males) 8 weeks (females) after travelling to a Zika Virus destination

+ Use condoms


The virus can be passed on to sexual partners (vaginal, anal and oral sex) even though the infected person doesn’t have any signs and symptoms.  Use condoms to avoid infecting your partner.   After returning from a Zika risk area, females should continue using condoms for 8 weeks, males for 6 months.


Planning a pregnancy | Pregnant travellers

+ Female travellers returning from a Zika risk area should wait at least 2 months before trying to conceive.

+ Male travellers returning from a Zika virus should wait 6 months before planning to conceive.


Zika virus infection in pregnant women

Pregnant women should avoid non-essential travel to Zika destinations.  The virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.  Avoid unprotected sexual contact for the entire pregnancy with anyone who has travelled to a risk area.  Ensure to use condoms your entire pregnancy.  Women concerned about exposure or who think they may have been infected, should see their doctor to discuss testing options.

Traveller’s departing for Zika destinations can still enjoy their vacation.  Know the facts of Zika Virus and how to avoid contracting this disease.  And remember: keep your insect repellent on hand at all times and use it!

Before you travel, protect your health.

Travel Safely with TravelSafe Immunization Clinic