DFAT Travel Advice on Zika Virus

DFAT Travel Advice on Zika Virus

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s travel advice on the Zika virus outbreak in the Caribbean, Central and South America emphasises that there are variations between countries.

The travel advice says: “The Zika virus is spread by Aedes mosquitoes and in recent weeks this mosquito-borne virus has rapidly spread in the Caribbean, Central and South America. Although not scientifically proven, World Health Organisation (WHO) experts strongly suspect that the virus is linked to cases of birth defects.

“It is important to note that not all countries are associated with the same level of risk: there are variations between those with ‘an increasing or widespread transmission’ of the disease and those characterised by ‘sporadic transmission following recent introduction’.

“An up-to-date list of affected countries and territories, along with further information, is available on the website of the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). The HPSC is the relevant expert body with competence in this area and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade bases its travel advice on their recommendations.

“Irish citizens traveling to, or living in, affected areas should keep themselves informed as the situation is dynamic and subject to rapid change. Information is available on the websites of the HPSC, WHO and the European Centre for Disease Surveillance and Control (ECDC).

Pregnant women, those trying to become pregnant

“There are reports of an increase in the incidence of microcephaly – abnormal smallness of the head and incomplete brain development – among newborns in areas where the Zika virus was known to be in circulation. It is essential that pregnant women, or those considering becoming pregnant, discuss any travel plans to affected areas in advance with their healthcare provider. Based on guidance from Irish public health experts, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strongly recommends that pregnant women consider postponing their travel to affected areas, and in particular to areas classified as having an increasing or widespread transmission of the Zika virus.

“Those with concerns should review the HPSC website for the latest updates. Pregnant women who have travelled to areas with Zika virus transmission should provide details of their travel abroad during antenatal visits in order to be assessed and monitored appropriately.

Men returning from Zika affected area

“As the Zika virus can be passed in a man’s semen, men returning from a Zika-affected area who do not have any symptoms of Zika are advised to practice safe sex (by wearing a condom) for one month after return.

“Men who have developed symptoms that could be due to Zika virus infection (fever, headache, aches, pains, rash, itchy eyes) are advised to practice safe sex (by wearing a condom) for six months after return. This is precautionary advice that may be revised as more information becomes available.”

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at

More in News

Willie Walsh Appointed Deputy Chairman of CarTrawler

Neil SteedmanSeptember 26, 2020

UNWTO Launches New Tourism Recovery Tracker

Neil SteedmanSeptember 25, 2020

Royal Caribbean announces updates to 2021 Summer cruises

Michael FloodSeptember 24, 2020

ITAA Calls for Covid-19 Tests Before Flight Departures

Neil SteedmanSeptember 24, 2020

“Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, Celebrity Apex, arrives in Southampton

Michael FloodSeptember 23, 2020

IATA Calls for Universal Testing to Rebuild Aviation Confidence

Neil SteedmanSeptember 23, 2020

London Travel Week Will Be Fully Virtual in 2020

Neil SteedmanSeptember 23, 2020

What’s Another Green List?

Neil SteedmanSeptember 22, 2020

Unprecedented Industry Appeal to EC President to End Quarantines and Develop Common EU Testing Protocol

Neil SteedmanSeptember 22, 2020

Copyright © 2019 Belgrave Group Limited, C4 Nutgrove Office Park, Nutgrove Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, Ireland