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Zika Precautions Urged for Georgia Travelers – Urgent Zika Warning for Pregnant Women

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) cautions travelers, especially women who are pregnant, headed to countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, among others. (CDC Zika Travel Information).

No locally transmitted Zika cases have been reported in Georgia or anywhere in the United States, but cases have been reported in returning travelers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently testing specimens from several Georgia residents with travel history to the affected areas.

There are urgent concerns about Zika virus infection and pregnant women. Zika virus infections have been confirmed in infants with microcephaly and in the current outbreak in Brazil, a marked increase in the number of infants born with microcephaly has been reported. Pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant should not travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who have traveled to these areas should consult their physician immediately. Health care providers should ask all pregnant women about recent travel.

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Zika virus is not spread human to human. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Most people infected with Zika virus never know they are sick.

For Media Questions Contact: Nancy Nydam at (404) 657-2462