Montréal, May 19, 2016—With the Zika epidemic making headlines last fall, the Clinique Santé-voyage of the Fondation du CHUM wanted to highlight key facts about this disease:

  • Zika is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito, as well as during sexual relationships with an infected person.
  • A light fever accompanied by a rash are typical symptoms.
  • Although the disease is generally benign, scientists now agree that there is a link between Zika and a rise in microcephaly cases among newborns of infected mothers and of Guillain-Barré syndrome in affected countries.
  • Pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant are advised not to travel to affected regions.
  • Men traveling to affected regions should wear a condom during sexual relationships for 6 months after their return, even if they haven’t exhibited any symptoms of the disease.
  • Risk areas are the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. For more information, visit travel.gc.ca.
  • Zika carried by travellers entering the US could then spread in parts of the country where Aedes mosquitoes are prevalent.
  • Mosquitoes are vectors of many serious diseases, such as dengue, yellow fever, malaria and Zika. Make sure to protect yourself against mosquito bites in at-risk countries.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommends that all travellers consult with a health travel specialist before their trips. You can make an appointment to see the experts at the Clinique Santé-voyage of the Fondation du CHUM just by calling 514-890-8332.