Zika in BaliJune 21st, 2016
Zika Virus has just been reported in Bali, but don’t panic.
CDC ( The extremely reliable Centre for Disease Control in the United States of America ) has a nice map of Zika affected areas here.
It is really not surprising if Zika is in Bali. The virus is carried by the same mosquito that carries Dengue and we know Dengue is in Bali.
Zika and pregnancy
Frankly, unless you are pregnant, Dengue Fever is a bigger worry than Zika in Bali – Dengue makes people much sicker than Zika. 80% of persons with Zika virus don’t even know they are sick.
Travellers to Bali ( and lots of other places ) need to avoid mosquito bites ( e.g. regularly use repellent containing Deet or Picaridin). Pregnant women should avoid visiting areas of the world with reported Zika, but for most travellers Zika is not really an issue. If you live in Townsville or Cairns it is recommended you use repellent for 3 weeks after returning to Australia as you want to ensure you don’t accidentally carry Zika ( even though you feel well ) and give it to the local mosquitoes. That would start an outbreak, not good – that is how the disease got to Bali; Someone with the virus carried the disease to the mosquitoes on Bali.
Pregnant women need to be careful if their partner has been to a Zika infected area, they need to either use condoms or not have sex during the rest of the pregnancy.
For women – if you are not pregnant now, you can go to Zika areas but do not get pregnant for 8 weeks after your return.
Do you think this news will put people off going to Bali?