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T&T is latest on Zika advisory list

Thursday, February 25, 2016

T&T is the latest Caribbean country to be added to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Zika advisory. The country as well as the Marshall islands were added on Tuesday. T&T announced its first confirmed case of the Zika virus last week. In December, the first local transmission of the Zika virus infection was reported in the Caribbean.  

According to the CDC website, local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with Zika virus, spreading it to people. Since then, the Zika virus has been reported in Barbados, Jamaica, Aruba, Haiti, Martinique and the US Virgin Islands. The CDC advises women who are pregnant to consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

“If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.

“If you have a male partner who lives in or has travelled to an area where Zika transmission is ongoing, either abstain from sex or use condoms consistently and correctly for the duration of your pregnancy,” it added.

The Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus. There have been reports of a serious birth defects of the brain, called microcephaly, and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.