Patient discussions

General information

Mosquito bite prevention

  • Patients should be advised to avoid mosquito bites in at least the first week of illness by using the following measures:[133][134]

  • Travellers returning from areas of ongoing transmission should use mosquito bite prevention measures for 3 weeks after returning to prevent spread to uninfected mosquitoes.[134]

Sexual health

  • Recommendations for pregnant couples: the CDC recommends that pregnant women with male or female sex partners who live in or have travelled to an area with active transmission should abstain from sex (vaginal, anal, oral) or use barriers against infection (e.g., condoms) during sex for the duration of the pregnancy. Additionally, the CDC recommends that pregnant women talk with their healthcare providers about their sex partner’s potential exposures to Zika virus and symptoms of Zika-like illness.[139]

  • Recommendations for non-pregnant couples: the CDC recommends that if only the female partner travels to an area with risk for transmission, the couple should use condoms and abstain from sex for at least 2 months after the female partner's symptom onset (if symptomatic) or last possible exposure (if asymptomatic). However, if the male partner (or both partners) travel to an area with risk for transmission, the couple should use condoms and abstain from sex for at least 3 months after the male partner's symptom onset (if symptomatic) or last possible exposure (if asymptomatic).[139]

  • The WHO still recommends safe sex practices for at least 6 months in men or women returning from areas with active transmission, regardless of whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic.[70]

Zika and pregnancy

  • Women living in endemic areas should consult local health authorities for advice before becoming pregnant. In Brazil, there are no formal recommendations to avoid pregnancy because of the Zika virus outbreak; the choice to get pregnant is regarded as a personal decision.[142]

  • The CDC has produced information for pregnant women and Zika virus infection:

Travel advice

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