Ireland issues new travel advisory over Zika virus

January 29, 2016 7:50 am 

DUBLIN, Jan. 29 — Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan on Thursday published new travel advice for 20 countries in response to the Zika virus outbreak.

The Irish minister advised the country's citizens to be aware of the risks of Zika virus and to take the appropriate precautions if visiting Central and South America and the Caribbean.

"While the risk is low in most cases I would particularly urge pregnant women and women who are trying to become pregnant to consider postponing their travel to affected areas and to consult with their healthcare provider before they travel," Flanagan said.

He said his department remains in close contact with the Irish Health Service Executive and the country's missions in the Americas in relation to this outbreak and will continue to review the travel advice as appropriate.

In the meantime, those who intend to travel to Central and South America should ensure they take the proper precautions against mosquito bites and secure the necessary vaccinations for this type of environment, he added.

In May 2015, brazil reported its first case of Zika virus disease. Since then, the disease has spread within brazil and to 22 other countries and territories in the region.

According to the World Health Organization, the arrival of the virus in some countries of the Americas, notably Brazil, has been associated with a steep increase in the birth of babies with abnormally small heads and in cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a poorly understood condition in which the immune system attacks the nervous system, sometimes resulting in paralysis. (PNA/Xinhua)



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