Pregnant? Read this before you travel.

Pregnant? Read this before you travel.


Pregnant? Read this before you travel.

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CDC’s Response to ZIKA

What we know about Zika

  • Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
  • Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
  • Zika is spread mostly by being bitten by an infected Aedes species mosquito.
    • These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters. They can also bite at night.
  • The large outbreak in the Americas is over, but Zika continues to be a potential risk in many countries in the Americas and around the world.
  • There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.
  • Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners.

What we don’t know about Zika

  • If there’s a safe time during your pregnancy to travel to an area with risk of Zika.
  • If you are pregnant and become infected:
    • How likely it is that Zika will pass to your fetus.
    • Whether your baby will have birth defects.

Symptoms of Zika

Many people won’t have symptoms or even know they are infected with the virus. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.

The most common symptoms of Zika are

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Red eyes
  • Muscle pain

Travel Notice

CDC has issued a travel notice (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to areas with a Zika outbreak.

For a current list of places with risk of Zika virus, see CDC’s Travel Health website:

Zika can also be sexually transmitted from an infected person to his or her male or female partners, so travelers should use condoms.


  • Do not travel to areas with a Zika outbreak (red areas on the Zika map). Before travel to other areas with risk of Zika (purple areas on the Zika map), pregnant women should talk with their doctors and carefully consider risks and possible consequences of travel.
  • If you must travel to these areas, talk to your doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
  • If you have a partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with risk of Zika, either use condoms the right way every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex, or do not have sex during the pregnancy.

Trying to become pregnant?

  • Before you travel to areas with a Zika outbreak (red areas on the Zika map) or other areas with risk of Zika (purple areas on the Zika map), talk to your doctor about your plans to become pregnant and the potential risks and possible consequences of travel.
  • Strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission during your trip.

Before you travel, check the CDC travel website frequently for the most up-to-date recommendations.

Your Best Protection: Prevent Mosquito Bites

When used as directed, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.


  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
    • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
    • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
    • Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.

Indoor Protection

  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.


Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, these insect repellents are safe and effective for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

  • Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Reapply as directed.
  • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
  • Use a repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.