Travelling to Zika-affected regions

CLEVELAND CLINC - More than 200 countries and thousands of travelers are expected at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio this month.

Because of concerns over recent outbreaks of Zika Virus in South America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued special recommendations for folks who are traveling to Brazil.

Dr. Tosin Goje of Cleveland Clinic says there are two ways that Zika Virus can be transmitted.

"The primary mode of transmission is through a mosquito bite. That's how most people initially contract the Zika virus, but now we know it can be sexually transmitted," Dr. Goje said.

The CDC is recommending that pregnant women avoid traveling to areas where Zika Virus is circulating.

Dr. Goje says that Zika Virus in a pregnant woman can result in microcephaly, a birth defect in which a baby's head and brain are smaller and under-developed.

She says it's important for all travelers to be aware of any local health concerns before heading out of the country.

The CDC recommends visiting your primary health physician before departing for your destination to make sure you are up to date on all necessary vaccines.

It's also a good idea to ask your doctor about any medications that might be necessary to protect against other mosquito-borne illnesses, like Malaria.

Dr. Goje says it's also important to take simple preventive measures once you've arrived at your destination.

"If they have to travel, then it is recommended that they protect themselves. Use DEET containing insect repellent. Wear long sleeves clothes and pants. Try to stay in a mosquito net environment in cool areas," Dr. Goje said..

The CDC has a special section on its website with important information and tips for travelers headed to Rio this summer.