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CDC: Travelers to New Caledonia warned of Zika fever outbreak

Zika fever is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito

The southwest Pacific islands of New Caledonia are reporting an outbreak of the mosquito borne viral disease, Zika fever, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for the archipelago Feb. 7.

Health officials in New Caledonia report that as of Monday, 49 cases have been laboratory confirmed. Thirty of the 49 cases occurred in people with a travel history to French Polynesia, where an outbreak of Zika fever is ongoing.

Some of the confirmed cases are considered autochthonous, or indigenous or locally transmitted in the population.

There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent Zika fever. Because of this, CDC recommends that travelers to New Caledonia protect themselves from mosquito bites.

This includes covering exposed skin, using insect repellent that contains DEET, stay and sleep in screened or air-conditioned rooms and use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

Zika infection is a mild febrile viral illness transmitted by mosquitoes. A few outbreaks have been reported in tropical Africa and in some areas in Southeast Asia, according to the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Zika virus is transmitted to humans mainly by certain species of Aedes mosquitoes and is closely related to the dengue virus.

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