Zika: A CDC Guide for Travelers

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Zika travel brochure


Zika: A CDC Guide for Travelers

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Zika: A CDC Guide for Travelers

About Zika

  • Zika virus (Zika) spreads through mosquito bites and sex.
  • Zika can cause mild sickness (fever, rash, headache, joint pain, red eyes, and muscle pain) that lasts about a week. Many people infected with Zika do not have symptoms.
  • Pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika outbreaks. Zika during pregnancy can cause birth defects.

Protect Against Mosquito Bites if You Travel to an Area with Risk of Zika

Mosquitoes that spread Zika live inside and outside. They bite both day and night.

  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.
  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Stay in rooms with air conditioning or window and door screens.
  • Continue to protect against mosquito bites for 3 weeks after you get home. Even if you do not feel sick, you could have Zika. Mosquitoes back home could bite you, get infected, and then spread Zika to other people.
  • TIP: Apply sunscreen first, then insect repellent.

Prevent Zika During Pregnancy

Zika can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus.

  • If you are pregnant:
    • Do not travel to areas with Zika outbreaks. If you must travel, talk to a doctor before you go and strictly follow steps to prevent Zika.
    • If your partner travels, use condoms throughout the rest of the pregnancy to avoid getting Zika through sex.
  • If your partner is pregnant:
    • Strictly follow steps to prevent Zika during and after travel, including preventing mosquito bites and using condoms.
    • Use condoms or don’t have sex for the rest of your partner’s pregnancy to protect against Zika birth defects.

Protect Your Chances of a Healthy Pregnancy

  • Zika can stay in semen for months and can be passed through sex.
  • If a woman gets pregnant and is infected with Zika, it can cause serious birth defects.
  • If you and your partner are thinking about pregnancy:
    • Talk to a doctor before you travel to an area with risk of Zika.
    • If you do travel, wait to get pregnant.
How Long Should We Wait to Get Pregnant
Who traveled? Woman Only Man Only Both Man and Woman
Wait At least 2 months At least 3 months At least 3 months