Travelling and Zika virus
Learn how to protect yourself from Zika virus when you travel.
On this page
- Where is Zika virus a risk?
- What are the risks of travelling to countries and areas with reported mosquito-spread Zika virus?
- What can you do to protect yourself from Zika virus?
- What should you do when you return to Canada?
- For more information
Where is Zika virus a risk?
Zika virus is usually spread by two species of mosquitoes that are found in warm, tropical climates. These mosquitoes cannot survive Canada's colder climate.
What are the risks of travelling to countries and areas with reported mosquito-spread Zika virus?
There is an ongoing, low-level risk for Canadians travelling to countries and areas in the United States with reported mosquito-spread Zika virus.
However, special precautions to protect a developing fetus from exposure to the Zika virus must be taken by:
- pregnant women
- those planning a pregnancy
- their sexual partners
What can you do to protect yourself from Zika virus?
There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika virus.
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic at least 6 weeks before you travel.
If you're travelling, you should protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. Mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus bite both in daylight and evening hours.
Zika virus can also be transmitted through sexual contact. Use condoms correctly and consistently or avoid having sex while travelling in countries and areas with reported mosquito-spread Zika virus.
See our Travel Health Notice for more recommendations on how to protect yourself.
What should you do when you return to Canada?
If you travelled to an area or country with reported mosquito-spread Zika virus be alert.
Speak to a health care provider if you:
- have or develop symptoms
- are pregnant
- become pregnant within 2 months of returning
- are pregnant and have had unprotected sexual contact with someone who was diagnosed with Zika virus infection
You will need to tell your health care provider:
- where you have been living and travelling
- if you have had sexual contact with a Zika-infected partner
For the first 6 months after returning to Canada from a country or area reporting mosquito-spread of Zika virus, you should:
- always use a condom correctly with a pregnant partner for the duration of the pregnancy
- always use a condom correctly or avoid having sex, with all sexual partners
- postpone donating semen
Men and women should postpone donating blood for 21 days following return from an area or country with reported mosquito-spread Zika virus.
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