Zika in Brazil
What is the current situation?
On May 14, 2015, the Ministry of Health in Brazil confirmed 16 locally transmitted cases of Zika. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in Brazil have been infected with Zika and are spreading it to people. Cases have been reported in the states of Bahia and Rio Grande do Norte .
What can travelers do to prevent Zika?
There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent Zika. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
Prevent mosquito bites:
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use an approved insect repellent as directed.
- Higher percentages of active ingredients provide longer protection. Use products with the following active ingredients:
- DEET (Products containing DEET include Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, and Ultrathon.)
- Picaridin (Also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin. Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan [outside the United States].)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (Products containing OLE include Repel and Off! Botanicals.)
- IR3535 (Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.)
- Always follow product directions and reapply as directed:
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first, let it dry, then apply insect repellent.
- Follow package directions when applying repellent on children. Avoid applying repellent to their hands, eyes, or mouth.
- Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See the product information to find out how long the protection will last.
- If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
- Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
- Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself:
- Stay and sleep in screened or air-conditioned rooms.
- Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.
If you feel sick and think you may have Zika:
- Talk to your doctor or nurse if you feel seriously ill, especially if you have a fever.
- Tell them about your travel.
- For more information about medical care abroad, see Getting Health Care Abroad and a list of International Joint Commission-accredited facilities.
- Get lots of rest and drink plenty of liquids.
- Avoid spreading the disease by preventing additional mosquito bites.