There is concern that Zika infection during pregnancy is harming unborn babies. Because there is neither a vaccine nor prophylactic medications available to prevent Zika virus infection, the CDC in America recommends that all pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. If a pregnant woman travels to an area with Zika virus transmission, she should strictly avoid mosquito bites.
Updates on areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission are available online (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/).
Two new viral illnesses are spreading rapidly in Central and South America. Chickungunya virus travelled with an infected person to the Caribbean in late 2013. Since then it has spread to 45 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America with 1.7 million suspected cases. It causes fever and joint aches and pains. The other, Zika, probably travelled to Brazil in 2014 and is spreading north wards. It causes a similar illness to dengue but is milder however there is concern that it is the cause of an unexpected increase in babies being born with small heads in Brazil. Both infections are spread by day time feeding Aedes mosquitoes which are widespread and breed in urban areas well. It is important to use repellent to try and minimise mosquito bites.