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Expat Exchange - Zika Virus in Bahamas
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Elboy Cay in The Bahamas


Zika Virus in Bahamas

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Atlantis Bahamas
Atlantis Bahamas

Summary: The mosquito-borne Zika Virus is a p for people living in Bahamas. It's especially important for pregnant women to understand the risks of getting Zika during pregnancy. Learn how to limit your exposure and what to do if you get Zika.

In Bahamas, residents face concerns related to the Zika Virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Pregnant women, in particular, need to be aware of the risks associated with contracting Zika during their pregnancy. Discover ways to minimize exposure and steps to take if you contract the virus.

The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne illness, has been a significant health concern in many parts of the world, including the Bahamas. This article aims to provide comprehensive information about the Zika virus in the Bahamas, its symptoms, prevalence, and long-lasting effects. It also discusses the virus's impact on pregnancy, prevention methods, and what to do if you contract the virus while in the Bahamas.

What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the Aedes mosquito. Symptoms typically include 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. However, the virus can have long-lasting effects, particularly in pregnant women, where it can cause severe birth defects. In rare cases, it can also trigger Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological disorder that can lead to paralysis and death.

Where is Zika Most Prevalent in the Bahamas?

The Zika virus has been reported in various parts of the Bahamas, with the highest number of cases in densely populated areas and regions with stagnant water bodies, which are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The capital city, Nassau, and other populated islands like Grand Bahama have reported significant cases of the virus. However, the risk is present throughout the country, and travelers are advised to take necessary precautions regardless of their destination within the Bahamas.

Zika Virus and Pregnancy

Zika virus poses a significant risk to pregnant women as it can cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly, a condition where a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected, often due to abnormal brain development. Pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant are strongly advised to avoid areas with Zika virus transmission. If travel is unavoidable, strict mosquito bite prevention measures should be followed.

How do Expats in the Bahamas Prevent Mosquito Bites?

Expats and travelers in the Bahamas can take several steps to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of contracting the Zika virus. These include using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, staying in places with window and door screens or air conditioning, and removing stagnant water around living areas to prevent mosquito breeding. Using bed nets and avoiding outdoor activities during peak mosquito biting times, such as early morning and late afternoon, can also help.

What if I Get Zika Virus in the Bahamas?

If you contract the Zika virus in the Bahamas, it's important to seek medical attention immediately. While there's no specific treatment for the virus, symptoms can be managed with rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications for fever and pain. Avoiding mosquito bites is crucial to prevent further spread of the virus. If you're pregnant and suspect you may have contracted the virus, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Is Zika Virus Contagious?

The Zika virus is not contagious in the traditional sense; it cannot be spread directly from person to person through casual contact. However, it can be transmitted through mosquito bites, from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and through sexual contact with an infected person. Blood transfusion and organ transplantation are also potential, but rare, modes of transmission.

Is Zika Virus More Dangerous for Children, the Elderly, or Immune-Compromised Individuals?

While the Zika virus typically causes mild symptoms in most people, certain groups may be at higher risk for severe illness. This includes individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing cancer treatment. The elderly may also experience more severe symptoms due to their generally weaker immune systems. However, the most significant risk is to unborn babies, as the virus can cause serious birth defects when contracted during pregnancy.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


Atlantis Bahamas
Atlantis Bahamas

Atlantis Bahamas
Atlantis Bahamas

Elboy Cay in The Bahamas

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