The US Communicable Diseases Control (CDC) Department on Thursday issued Zika special considerations for 11 Southeast Asian countries, warning American citizens, especially pregnant women, about travelling to these countries because of the uncertain risk of Zika infection.
The 11 countries placed under Zika special considerations include Thailand, Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.
CDC said Zika virus has been present in areas of Southeast Asia for many years and several countries have reported occasional cases or small outbreaks. It added that Zika virus is considered endemic in some of these countries and many people who live there are like immune but US travelers to the areas where Zika is endemic may not be immune to the virus and infections have occurred in travelers to Southeast Asia.
The level of risk for Zika virus infection in these countries is unknown, said CDC, adding, however, that pregnant women should consider postponing nonessential travel to Southeast Asia.
If travel to these countries cannot be avoided for pregnant women, CDC recommends that they consult their healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.
Also, CDC advises the use of condom every time they have sex during pregnancy.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)