Zika Virus – Staying safe when travelling

Whether you are travelling abroad for business or pleasure or are visiting the 2016 Olympics in Rio, consideration should be given to the ongoing Zika virus epidemic. The European Centre for Disease Control & Prevention [ECDC] publish weekly updates to its increasing Zika transmission map which currently includes the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, southeast Asia and Indonesia. In the past couple of days, the US state of Florida has confirmed four cases of the virus contracted by infected mosquitos; as a result, the Public Health England has advised pregnant women to postpone all non-essential trips to Florida.
Zika primarily spreads through infected mosquitos, however can also be spread by sexual transmission, blood transfusions or through pregnancy from an infected mother to her unborn child. The Zika virus can stay in your blood for up to a week meaning you can infect others during this time.
Many people infected with the Zika virus will show mild or no symptoms meaning it is hard to detect without a blood test. Typical symptoms include a mild fever, skin rash, muscle and joint pain and headache and are similar to those of Dengue fever. At present, a vaccine is in the trial stages in Canada.
Complications arising from the Zika virus include brain defects and neurological disorders in unborn children indicating pregnant women are at greater risk and should avoid travelling to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission.
Due to the rise in mosquito transmitted diseases in Brazil, the Brazilian Government have also recently introduced new rights and rules allowing extended maternity leave to mothers with new-born’s infected with a disease transmitted by the yellow fever mosquito, including the Zika virus and Chikungunya fever.
Prior to travelling, the CDC recommends checking their website for updated travel notices and advice on how best to protect yourself from the Zika virus.

2 August 2016

For more information or advice on how to prepare your fleet, contact Shelley Dowie at Rosemont Yacht Management safety@rosemont-yacht.com