CDC adds Montserrat to interim travel guidance related to Zika virus

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Monday, November 21, 2016
Contact: Media Relations,
(404) 639-3286

CDC is working with other public health officials to monitor for ongoing spread of Zika virus‎. Today, CDC posted a Zika virus travel notice for Montserrat. CDC has issued travel notices (level 2, “practice enhanced precautions”) for people traveling to destinations with Zika. For a full list of affected countries/regions, visit

As more information becomes available, CDC’s travel notices will be updated. Travelers to areas with active Zika virus transmission who have not already been infected with Zika virus can get it from mosquito bites. Mosquitoes that spread Zika bite during the day and night. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika virus. The best way to avoid Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites. Zika virus can also be passed through sex.

Some travelers to areas with Zika will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home, or they might not have any symptoms. To help stop the spread of Zika, travelers should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for three weeks after travel to areas with Zika.

Some people who are infected do not have any symptoms. People who do have symptoms have reported fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The sickness is usually mild with symptoms that last from several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. Travelers to areas with Zika should watch for symptoms or sickness upon return. If they become sick, they should tell their healthcare professional when and where they have traveled.

CDC has received reports of Zika virus being spread through sex with sick returning travelers. Until more is known, CDC continues to recommend that pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant take the following precautions.

Pregnant women

  • Should not travel to any area with Zika.
  • If you must travel to or live in one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
  • If you or your partner live in or travel to an area with Zika, use condoms from start to finish every time you have sex or do not have sex during the pregnancy. Sex includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

Women trying to get pregnant

  • Before you or your partner travel, talk to your healthcare provider about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection.
  • If you do travel to an area with Zika, you and your partner should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.

For additional information on preventing the spread of Zika through sex, visit Current CDC research suggests that Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is strongly associated with Zika; however, only a small proportion of people with recent Zika virus infection get GBS. CDC is continuing to investigate the link between GBS and Zika to learn more.

For more information on Zika, visit


Page last reviewed: November 21, 2016