Zika Virus in Travelers & Pregnant Women

Zika Virus in Travelers & Pregnant Women

Zika Virus in Travelers and Pregnant Women

January 29, 2016

Situational Update

Recent outbreaks of Zika virus have occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean. There is a possible association between Zika virus infection in pregnant women and the birth defect microcephaly in newborns.

Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitos. The virus is not transmitted from person‐to‐person. These mosquitos are not native to California but have been detected in some California Counties since 2011. These mosquitos have not been detected in Sacramento County.

No local transmission of Zika infections has occurred in California.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel alert is in effect for countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing, including countries in Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Mexico.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends special travel precautions for pregnant women and women who may become pregnant until more information is known. Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who must travel to one of these areas and women who are trying to become pregnant should talk with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.


  • There are no vaccines to prevent Zika infection. Preventing mosquito bites is the only way to avoid becoming infected.
  • Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para‐menthane‐diol for long lasting protection. If using both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent.
  • Using insect repellent is safe and effective. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding can and should choose an EPA‐registered insect repellent and use it according to the product label.
  • When weather permits, wear long‐sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net.
  • Help reduce the number of mosquitoes outside your home or hotel room by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets.

Sources for Information:

If  you  need  additional information about  Zika  virus  infection  please  contact  the  Sacramento  County Communicable Disease Program at 916‐875‐5881.

For medical or psychiatric emergencies, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital.