Canada warns its citizens to “exercise a high degree of caution” when traveling to Dominica due to Zika
The Canadian government has issued an advisory, warning its citizens to “exercise a high degree of caution” when traveling to Dominica, because of the presence of the Zika Virus on the island. That travel advisory was also issued for eight other CARICOM countries, for the same reason.
The other CARICOM countries that are included on the advisory are the Trinidad & Tobago, The Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, and St. Lucia. Zika is caused by a virus which is primarily spread by the bite of an Aedes Egypti infected mosquito.
It can also be transmitted from an infected pregnant woman to her developing foetus. In addition, the Zika virus can be sexually transmitted, and it can persist for an extended period of time, in the semen of infected males.
Pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant were told they should avoid traveling to Dominica. The travel advisory stated, “If travel cannot be avoided or postponed, strict mosquito bite prevention measures should be followed, due to the association between Zika virus infection and increased risk of serious health effects on their developing foetus”.
In March this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States added Dominica to the list of countries, that some US citizens were advised to avoid, amid the spread of the Zika virus.
However, Tourism Minister Robert Tonge said he is “not very concerned” about the effect of such an advisory on the local tourism industry. Dominica announced its first confirmed case of Zika on March 15, 2016.
Symptoms of the Zika virus can include fever, headache, conjunctivitis and skin rash, along with joint and muscle pain. The illness is typically mild, and lasts only a few days. The majority of those infected do not have symptoms. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against Zika virus infection, although trials are underway.
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