Pregnant women advised to avoid travel to Central/South America and the Caribbean due to emerging virus.
On behalf of Blue Shield of California, we wanted to let you know that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recently issued a Travel Alert warning travelers to avoid 14 countries in South/Central America and the Caribbean because of a mosquito-transmitted viral infection called Zika. Women infected with Zika early in pregnancy are giving birth to babies with a condition called "microcephaly" (small head) that results in severe developmental delay and early death.
Those who decide to travel to one of these areas, should seek the advice of a healthcare specialist and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip. Women trying to become pregnant should also consult with a healthcare provider prior to traveling to these areas.
Zika virus has not been reported in the continental United States, however, infections have been reported in travelers returning to the United States, and the numbers of these cases are likely to increase. A local spread of the virus could occur in some areas of the United States by a human-to-mosquito-to-human spread of the virus.
Please feel free to share this information so we can prevent this virus from spreading.
For more information about the Zika virus, please review the official CDC Media Statement and visit the CDC Zika Virus webpage.