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Zika Virus

Updated – March 24, 2016

The information on Zika virus is rapidly evolving and people should be sure to regularly check the websites below for updates and the most current information.

Updates are available on the Public Health Agency of Canada website - http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/phn-asp/2016/zika-eng.php.

Information about the prevention of Zika virus is available on the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health website at http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/zika-virus.

 

Prevention and Precautions

Everyone travelling to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission (http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html) needs to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites. 

It is recommended that pregnant women (and those planning a pregnancy) should avoid travel to areas where the Zika virus is circulating.

If travel by the pregnant woman cannot be avoided or postponed, strict mosquito bite prevention measures should be followed to protect against all mosquito bites and reduce the risk of health effects for the unborn baby.

Women wishing to get pregnant should wait at least two months after their return from countries where Zika virus is circulating before trying to conceive.

Information about the additional precautions that should be taken by men (e.g. condom use, etc.) who have travelled to an area with Zika and who are partners of women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy can be found in the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health Fact Sheet on Zika virus attached at the bottom of this page. This Saskatchewan fact sheet also has general information for people who want to know more about Zika virus and how to protect themselves.

 

General Information about Zika

Zika virus was originally identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Zika virus emerged in South America in 2015 and now cases have been reported in many other countries in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

Zika virus infection is caused by a virus which is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Most infected individuals have no symptoms. When present the symptoms include fever, headache, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and rash, along with joint and muscle pain.

The illness is typically mild and lasts only a few days.

 

More Information Sources

General information from the Centre for Disease Control website:

-       http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

Locations where Zika virus is circulating (the countries affected) can be found at:

-       http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information

Posters from the Centre for Disease Control website:

-       http://www.cdc.gov/zika/fs-posters/index.html
 

General information is also available on the World Health Organization (WHO) website:

-       http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/

Information for health care providers can be found at:

-       https://sma.sk.ca/news/119/zika-virus-information-for-health-care-providers.html

Travel Alert from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) for more information about Zika virus and how to protect yourself:

-        http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/notices-avis/notices-avis-eng.php?id=143

Please see the posters/fact sheets attached below for more information for travelers.