There is ongoing concern about the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and the impact of Zika infections on pregnant women and their babies.
Cases of Zika virus have been reported in Africa, southern Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas.
There are concerns that pregnant women who become infected with Zika virus can transmit the disease to their unborn babies, with potentially serious consequences. Reports from several countries demonstrate an increase in severe foetal birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes in babies whose mothers were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.
It is recommended pregnant women delay Pacific travel until at least April, to avoid the rainy season when insect-borne diseases were most common.
Infections are now on the rise across the world, with MFAT warning of cases in Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, as well as south Asia, Africa, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
The Ministry of Health recommends that women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the near term consider delaying travel to areas with Zika virus present. If travelling in Zika infected areas, women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider and take all precautions to avoid mosquito bites
Please see the following links for more information: