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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration wishes to advise Bahamians travelling to Brazil and to the United States in Florida, in the city of Miami in particular, of reports of the Zika virus in those places. In Miami, the virus has been discovered to be most prevalent in the Wynwood area of the city. There have also been cases of local transmission reported in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The virus is mosquito borne. The Ministry wishes to offer guidance to people travelling to those places or anywhere that the Zika virus has been reported.
Bahamians traveling to both cities, Miami and to Rio De Janiero in Brazil for the Summer Olympics, 5-21 August, are reminded to take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Those precautions would also arise in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Zika is a mosquito borne disease and may also be sexually transmitted.
Bahamians traveling to Florida should be aware that while the number of reported cases in Florida is small, anyone traveling there should also take appropriate precautions. The disease is more prevalent in Brazil. The number of cases in the Turks and Caicos is small.
The Bahamas Ministry of Health says these would include clothing to cover the skin, wearing mosquito repellent and avoiding areas where mosquitoes are likely to congregate like large pools of water.
The symptoms of the disease include headaches, fever and pain around the eyes. Pregnant women should be especially careful as cases affecting the health of unborn children have been reported. There are also rare cases of paralysis associated with Zika infections.
The watchword then is to take all appropriate precautions. Please report any infections to the nearest Bahamas Consulate or Honorary Consulate in the United States. The Ministry has assigned an officer to deal with any case emergency arising in Brazil during the Olympics. Please call The Bahamas Consulate General, Miami at the emergency number as follows: Consul Lynnith Braynen 305-607-2090.
The addresses of the Consulates and Honorary Consulates can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration at mofa.gov.bs.