Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a travel alert to highlight countries where Zika virus is prevalent. The Zika virus is spread by mosquitos and is therefore most prevalent in tropic environments. Generally, symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes), last several days to a week. Currently there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika, but severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
Travelers can limit their exposure to Zika (and other mosquito-borne illnesses like Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Chikungunya) by taking precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
Unfortunately, Zika is linked to a specific birth defect called microcephaly. This link is so strong that CDC issued travel guidance for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant, warning them to avoid visiting places where the virus is currently circulating. Such travelers should regularly review the travel alert for updates as more countries are likely to be added to the list.