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Zika is not an airborne disease and cannot be spread by coughing, sneezing, or talking. However, the Zika virus has been found in semen and person‐to‐person sexual transmission has been documented.
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Since Zika is spread by mosquitoes, CDC recommends that travelers to areas with ongoing transmission protect themselves from mosquito bites:
Women who are pregnant (in any trimester) should consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. If you are pregnant and must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor first and strictly follow the steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip. Women who are trying to become pregnant should talk to their doctor about plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection before travel and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during travel. All women of childbearing age who choose to travel should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites in the event of an unplanned pregnancy.
If infected, the Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week. The virus will not cause infections in a baby that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood.
There is currently no evidence that Zika causes more serious illnesses in the elderly or people with chronic illnesses. It is recommended that all travelers consult with their healthcare providers to be sure they are well enough to travel. In most cases, the Zika virus causes a mild illness. Providers should consider the patient's ability to withstand all vector‐borne diseases, including but not limited to dengue, Chikungunya, and malaria, which can cause severe illness. Other travel-related illnesses, such as diarrhea should also be considered. If a person chooses to travel, they should take steps to avoid mosquito bites. Please review the question, "Can I travel to countries affected by the outbreak?" for more information.