Recommendations for Travelers and People Living Abroad

At a glance

Recommendations to prevent Zika virus infections in travelers and people living abroad are listed by a location's Zika geographic risk classification. First determine the risk category for your location and then review the specific recommendations for that risk category.

Picture of a United States passport.

Background

  • If you are pregnant or planning pregnancy, talk to your healthcare provider about your potential risk of Zika infection, the possible health effects of Zika virus infection on a baby, and ways to protect yourself from Zika.
  • Zika virus can be spread through sex. The timeframes that biological males and biological females can pass the virus through sex are different because the virus can stay in semen longer than in other body fluids.
  • Even if someone does not feel sick, people returning to the United States from an area with an active Zika Travel Health Notice or with current or past transmission should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks so they do not spread Zika virus to mosquitoes that could spread it to other people.

Determining the risk classification for a location

There are four Zika geographic risk classification categories.

  1. Geographic area with an active Zika Travel Health Notice: These areas are considered to have a current risk of Zika transmission. Zika Travel Health Notices provide up-to-date information on known Zika outbreaks that may be occurring across the globe.
  2. Country or territory with current or past Zika transmissionA: These countries have a potential risk of Zika transmission, but CDC may not have accurate information on the current level of risk. As a result, detection and reporting of new outbreaks may be delayed.
  3. Country or territory known to have mosquito that spreads Zika, but no reported Zika cases: Because Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (the mosquitoes that most commonly spreads Zika) are present in these countries, Zika has the potential to be present, along with other mosquito-borne infections. Detection and reporting of cases and outbreaks may be delayed.
  4. Country or territory not known to have mosquito that spreads Zika: No Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (the mosquitoes that most commonly spreads Zika) have been reported in these countries. However, other Aedes species mosquitoes have been known to spread Zika, and these may be present.

To determine the risk classification of a geographic location, first visit CDC's Travel Health Notice page to determine if there are any active Travel Health Notices for Zika. If a location has a Travel Health Notice then follow the recommendations for risk category 1.

Geographic locations with Travel Health Notices for Zika‎

There are currently no geographic areas with an active Zika Travel Health Notice.

If there are no Zika Travel Health Notices for a geographic area, then visit the Countries and Territories at Risk for Zika page to determine the risk category for the areas you plan to visit.

Risk category 1: Geographic area with an active CDC Zika Travel Health Notice

Recommendations for travelers

Pregnant traveler
  • You should avoid travel to areas with an active Zika Travel Health Notice. If travel is unavoidable, strictly follow recommendations to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission during and after travel.
Traveler with a pregnant partner
  • In deciding whether to travel, consider the reasons for travel, ability to prevent mosquito bites, and potential risk of transmitting Zika to your pregnant partner. If you choose to travel, prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission during and after travel.
Traveler planning pregnancy or traveler with a partner planning pregnancy
  • Discuss travel plans, reasons for travel, ability to prevent mosquito bites, and potential risks with your healthcare provider. If you choose to travel, prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission during and after travel. Delay pregnancy following travel using the timeframes to prevent sexual transmission.
Other traveler

Recommendations for people living abroad

Pregnant resident and their partner
Resident planning pregnancy and their partner
  • Prevent mosquito bites. Because of your ongoing exposure to Zika, talk with your healthcare provider about your plans for pregnancy, risk of Zika, the possible health effects of Zika on a baby, ways to protect yourself from Zika, and whether delaying your pregnancy should be considered.
Other resident

Risk category 2: Country or territory with current or past transmission

Recommendations for travelers

Pregnant traveler or traveler with a pregnant partner
  • Discuss travel plans, reasons for travel, ability to prevent mosquito bites, and potential risks with your healthcare provider. If you choose to travel, prevent mosquito bites during and after travel. If you are concerned about the risks of Zika, you should also prevent sexual transmission during and after travel.
Traveler planning pregnancy or traveler with a partner planning pregnancy
  • Discuss travel plans and potential risks with your healthcare provider. If you choose to travel, prevent mosquito bites during and after travel. If you are concerned about the risks of Zika, you should prevent sexual transmission during and after travel and consider delaying pregnancy using the timeframes to prevent sexual transmission.
Other traveler
  • Prevent mosquito bites. If you choose to travel and you are concerned about getting or passing Zika virus through sex, prevent sexual transmission during and after travel.

Recommendations for people living abroad

Pregnant resident and their partner
  • Prevent mosquito bites. Discuss risk of Zika in the context of the local situation with your healthcare provider and the potential need to prevent sexual transmission.
Resident planning pregnancy and their partner
  • Prevent mosquito bites. Discuss plans for pregnancy with your healthcare provider and risk of Zika in the context of the local situation.
Other resident
  • Prevent mosquito bites. If concerned about getting or passing Zika virus through sex, prevent sexual transmission.

Risk category 3: Country or territory known to have mosquito that spreads Zika, but no reported Zika cases

Recommendations for travelers and people living abroad

Prevent mosquito bites.

Risk category 4: Country or territory not known to have mosquito that spreads Zika

This risk category has no Zika-specific prevention recommendations.

  1. Current or past transmission is defined as having had locally acquired, mosquito-borne Zika cases. Some countries with temporally and geographically limited Zika virus transmission in the past may be classified as having no reported cases if they meet the following criteria: 1) had no confirmed locally acquired Zika virus disease cases for 12 months; 2) are located in a subtropic or temperate climate; and 3) have a comprehensive arboviral surveillance system, high capacity for diagnostic testing and consistent timely reporting of diagnostic results. Countries in this category are the United States and France (Note: only Aedes albopictus present in France).