LIVEBEYOND TRAVEL POLICY & WARNING

Zika Virus outbreaks have been reported in Haiti. Because of the risk of birth defects in babies born to women who were infected with Zika while pregnant, we have implemented the following policy to protect our volunteers:

+ Women who are pregnant are not permitted to serve in Haiti with LiveBeyond.
+ Couples who are actively trying to become pregnant should not serve on a LiveBeyond mission trip.
+ If a man travels to Haiti, and his wife is pregnant, they should use barrier protection or not have sex during the pregnancy.

READ: WHO statement on the third meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR(2005)) Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations


WHAT IS ZIKA
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2016)

Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.


ZIKA VIRUS IN PREGNANCY
THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC, 2016)

A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. CDC recommends special precautions for the following groups:

  • Women who are pregnant:
    • Should not travel to any area of Haiti.
    • If you have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to Haiti, either use condoms or do not have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) during your pregnancy.
  • Women who are trying to become pregnant:
    • Before you or your male partner travel, talk to your doctor about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection.
    • See CDC guidance for how long you should wait to get pregnant after travel to Haiti.
  • Men who have traveled to an area with Zika and have a pregnant partner should use condoms or not have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) during the pregnancy.

ZIKA VIRUS DIAGNOSIS
THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC, 2016)

  • The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika.
  • See your doctor or other healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found.
  • If you have recently traveled, tell your doctor or other healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
  • Your doctor or other healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.

ZIKA VIRUS Treatment
THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC, 2016)

  • There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika virus.
  • Treat the symptoms:
    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
    • Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain.
    • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding.
    • If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
  • If you have Zika, prevent mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
    • During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites.
    • An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.

ZIKA VIRUS PREVENTION
THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC, 2016)

There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites:

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE, also called para-menthane-diol [PMD]), or IR3535. Always use as directed.
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.