CDC releases tips for avoiding Zika on spring break

WASHINGTON — Spring break is just around the corner, and health officials want travelers to remember that the Zika virus is still a concern.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning travelers heading to Central America, South America, the Pacific islands, parts of Asia and even the Miami and Brownsville, Texas areas to take precautions against the mosquito-borne disease.

Travelers should pack long sleeve clothing and insect repellent for protection against mosquitoes. If staying in a non-air conditioned room or a space that not well screened, a bed net is also a must-have.

The CDC recommends packing condoms if you might have sex.

Pregnant women are advised to avoid these areas, and women who are trying to get pregnant not make unnecessary trips.

The CDC asks travelers to these countries to apply and reapply insect repellent during the stay, making sure the sunscreen goes on before the bug spray.

Prevention continues after returning home.

Officials want recent travelers to countries with Zika to continue using insect repellent when they return home for at least three more weeks to prevent and local mosquitoes from picking up the virus.

Recent travelers should also either use a condom or avoid sex during and after the trip. The CDC said men should consider using condoms or avoid sex for at least six months after travel; women should do the same for at least eight weeks.

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