Zika Virus Infection in Papua New Guinea
31 Mar 2016
On 31 March 2016, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) added Papau New Guinea to the list of countries or territories with reported confirmed autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection in the past 2 months. Transmission in Papua New Guinea is classed as sporadic.
Advice for Travellers
Avoidance of mosquito bites, particularly during daylight hours, is recommended for all travellers. Due to the possible link between Zika virus infection and birth defects, pregnant women, or those planning pregnancy are strongly urged to seek pre-travel advice from their health care provider. It is recommended that pregnant women postpone non-essential travel to Zika affected countries. If travel is essential, rigorous measures to avoid mosquito bites both during daytime and nightime hours should be followed.
Women who have visited a Zika affected area whilst pregnant should arrange to have their next antenatal check promptly on return home, even if feeling well. This is not intended to cause undue anxiety, but merely as a precaution. In addition, medical attention must be sought quickly for any feverish illness experienced whilst travelling or on return.
Bite avoidance measures include: covering up with clothing, the use of insect repellent and bed nets impregnated with insecticide. Reduction of mosquito breeding sites around hotel rooms/homes is advised for longer term stays.