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US issues Zika travel alert for A&B

Observer media tried unsuccessfully to reach the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Rhonda Sealy Thomas, but State-owned media, ABS Thursday quoted her as saying a “patient who did not have a recent travel history” is one of two new Zika cases.

The laboratory-confirmed local transmission came to her attention three weeks ago, the CMO said a day after the CDC posted a travel alert on its webpage.

The Level 2 designation for Antigua & Barbuda means that travelers should practice “enhanced precautions”.

In fact, the USA’s leading national public health institute has told pregnant women they should not travel to the land of 365 beaches and if they have no choice but to, they should talk to their doctors first.

The same applies to women who are trying to conceive.

“And strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip,” the CDC also advised. The federal agency reminded that a condom should be used during pregnancy if the partner lives in or has travelled to St. John’s.

“Even if they do not feel sick, travelers returning to the United States from Antigua and Barbuda should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks so that they do not spread Zika to uninfected mosquitoes,” the CDC urged.

The Center has labeled scores of countries including Barbados, Fiji, American Samoa and most recently the Turks and Caicos Islands, as Alert Level 2.

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