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Zika Virus mosquito St John travel information

St John Travel: Zika Info

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While there are very few confirmed cases of Zika Virus on St John, St Thomas or St Croix; we feel it’s important to inform our guests and prospective guests about the existence and threat of Zika in our Region.

The greatest risk is to pregnant women – or those that become pregnant after exposure to the Zika Virus

Zika Virus mosquito St John travel informationZIKV is a mosquito-borne viral infection which is transmitted by the same Aedes aegypti mosquito which transmits dengue and chikungunya viruses. ZIKV was first detected in the Americas in 2014 and since then has spread to several other countries and territories. Since ZIKV is new to the Caribbean, almost everyone is susceptible to the infection. The most common symptoms of ZIKV infection are mild fever and skin rash, usually accompanied by conjunctivitis, muscle or joint pain, and general malaise that begins 2-7 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.  Symptoms are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya and can last 2- 7 days.

ZIKV CANNOT be transmitted by close or casual contact with an infected person (i.e., not person to person) or through the air, food or water.

Prevention Messages for Travelers coming to the Caribbean
There is no vaccine or treatment available for ZIKV, so prevention measures are essential.

All travelers are advised to:

  • Stay informed about the ZIKV situation in countries they are travelling to.
  • Prevent mosquito bites:
    o Use insect repellents on exposed skin. Insect repellents that contain DEET, Picaridin (also known as icaridin), oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or IR3535 are the most effective and safe when used according to the label. If also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
    o Where possible, wear light coloured long-sleeved shirts and long pants, socks and shoes to minimize exposed skin.
    o When indoors use air conditioning and keep the doors and windows closed, unless they are screened, to keep out mosquitoes. If this is not possible sleep under mosquito nets to prevent bites.

What should you do if you feel sick and think you may have Zika?

  • Consult a healthcare professional if you are feeling ill, especially if you have a fever. If you have returned home, make sure to tell them about your travel to the Caribbean.
  • Use acetaminophen or paracetamol to treat fever and pain.
  • Get lots of rest and drink plenty of liquids.
  • A person infected with ZIKV will have the virus in their blood for the first week of infection. The virus can be passed on to other mosquitoes if they bite you while you are carrying the virus. Therefore, be especially careful to prevent mosquito bites during the first week to avoid spreading the disease.

For more information please visit: CDC Zika Information