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Zika Virus Disease in Peru

05 May 2016

The Ministry of Health in Peru has confirmed local cases of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in the country.

Imported cases (9) have previously been identifed in travellers returning to Peru from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Four local cases have been confirmed as ZIKV by the National Institute of Health in Loreto and a further 3 suspected cases are under investigation.

The cases were identified in the regions of Cajamarca in the northern Andes of Peru bordering Ecuador and Loreto in the northeast of the Amazon bordering Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil.

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.