In response to outbreaks in both North and South America during 2015-2017, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has provided travel recommendations for people traveling to areas with a risk of Zika. Pregnant women should avoid travel to areas with a current Zika outbreak.
For areas with a risk of Zika virus, see the CDC Zika map. You can also receive CDC Zika travel updates on your phone by texting PLAN to 855-255-5606.
Before your trip
Pregnant women should avoid travel to areas with a current Zika outbreak.
Pregnant women or couples planning to become pregnant within three months should contact their healthcare provider to discuss the possible risks of travel to areas with any past or current Zika virus activity.
If you are planning on traveling and are pregnant or if you or your partner are trying to get pregnant, contact your healthcare provider about your travel plans.
The Department of Health Services (DHS) has the following resources for individuals planning to travel:
- Traveling to Visit Family or Friends? P-01695G (Multiple languages)
- You Would do Anything to Protect Your Family, P-01695F (Multiple languages)
- Planning to Get Away for Spring Break? P-01695B (Multiple languages)
- Pregnant and Traveling to a Warmer Destination for Spring Break? P-01695C (Multiple languages)
- Planning to Get Away for Summer Vacation? P-01695D (Multiple languages)
- Pregnant and Traveling to a Warmer Destination for Summer Vacation? P-01695E (Multiple languages)
- Taking a Break from Wisconsin Winter? P-01695 (Multiple languages)
- Pregnant and Traveling to a Warmer Destination This Winter? P-01695A (Multiple languages)
During your trip
Protect yourself from mosquitoes using these tips:
- Use effective mosquito repellent and apply according to the label instructions.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes.
- Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with an insecticide (e.g., permethrin) or repellent (e.g., DEET) will give extra protection. Do not use permethrin directly on skin. If traveling to a remote area, use bed nets when sleeping.
- The mosquitoes that can spread Zika virus primarily bite during the day, and prefer to bite indoors. Take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when spending time indoors and outdoors, and both during the day and at night.
After the trip
See your doctor or other health care provider if you have the symptoms described below and have visited an area with a risk of Zika. This is especially important if you are pregnant.
Be sure to tell your doctor or other health care provider where you traveled.
If you traveled to an area with a risk of Zika, be aware of any potential symptoms (fever, rash, joint pain) of the virus and consult your doctor.
Health care providers recommend that women wait at least eight weeks after traveling before trying to get pregnant. To help prevent Zika virus transmission, women should use condoms or abstain from sex during this time period.
Health care providers recommend that men should wait at least three months after traveling before trying to conceive with their partner. Men should also correctly and consistently use condoms for vaginal, anal, and oral (fellatio) sex or abstain from sex for three months to help prevent Zika virus transmission
Symptoms to watch for after returning from areas with a risk of Zika virus
Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are:
- Joint pain
- Red eyes
How long symptoms last
Zika is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. Symptoms of Zika are similar to other viruses spread through mosquito bites, like dengue and chikungunya.
See your doctor or other health care provider if you have recently traveled to an area with a risk of Zika. Your doctor or other health care provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.