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Zika Virus Infection in the USA (Hidalgo County, Texas) (Update 1)

20 Dec 2017

On 19 December 2017, the Texas Department of State Health Services Link said 3 recent Zika virus disease cases in Hidalgo County demonstrate the infection remains a threat in the Rio Grande Valley. Of these cases, 1 is likely to have been transmitted locally by mosquitoes.

Health Protection Scotland in accordance with Public Health England considers Hidalgo county an area with Moderate Risk of Zika virus transmisison.

Advice for Travellers

Zika virus is most commonly spread by mosquito bites, but there is also a risk of sexual transmission. There is a link between Zika virus infection and babies being born with birth defects.

  • Countries are categorised by risk of Zika virus infection by Public Health England.

  • Pregnant women should postpone non-essential travel to countries or areas with High Risk of Zika virus transmission.

  • Pregnant women should consider postponing non-essential travel to countries or areas with Moderate Risk of Zika virus transmission, such as Hidalgo county, Texas.

  • An individual risk assessment is advisable for pregnant women travelling to Low Risk countries or areas.

  • Travellers who develop any feverish illness whilst travelling or on return are advised to seek medical attention quickly.

Travellers to countries at High or Moderate Risk of Zika virus transmission should avoid the risk of sexual transmission by the use of contraception and condoms during travel and for: 

  • 8 weeks afterwards if female.
  • 6 months afterwards if male.