What areas are being impacted by Zika?
Zika has spread to more than 35 countries, largely in Central and South America and in the Caribbean. In addition, Cape Verde and three Pacific Islands (American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga) have reported transmission of the virus. We have also seen the Zika virus in travelers returning to the U.S. from places where Zika is spreading—but to date, no one is known to have been infected on the mainland U.S. via a mosquito.
What if I’m planning to travel to a place with an established Zika outbreak?
Pregnant women are being advised to avoid areas with active Zika transmission if possible. For everyone else, it is still okay to travel to Central and South America and the Caribbean, but the CDC recommends usual anti-mosquito measures. Men returning from these areas should use condoms to protect their partners from possible infection, especially if his partner is or could be pregnant. Officials are also urging travelers to avoid mosquito bites both while abroad in a Zika-affected country and for at least a week after a returning (in order to avoid spreading the virus, if they should be infected and not know it.)
Is it safe to go to the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro?
It is safe for non-pregnant persons to attend the Olympic games, as long as they take the proper precautions against mosquitos. However, as Brazil is one of the hardest-hit countries, women who are or could be pregnant or who are trying to become pregnant should seriously consider staying home and should consult their physicians about the risks. It will help that the Olympics are held during what is Brazil’s winter, which should lower the risk somewhat. However, in a tropical area like this, mosquitos breed constantly, so there really is no completely safe time of year. Stay up-to-date on all 2016 Olympic games travel alerts.
For more specific Zika travel information, please visit the CDC’s traveler’s health page.