According to a statement issued by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), on February 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed the Bahamas from its list of “Areas with Risk of Zika.”
According to the CDC’S website, the list identifies places where pregnant women should avoid travel, and where travelers should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission during and after the trip.
The CDC now includes the Bahamas under “Areas with Interrupted Transmission,” meaning Zika was previously found in the locations on this list but scientists have determined the virus is no longer present.
The CDC states that travelers, including pregnant women, can visit these destinations with no known risk of getting Zika from mosquitoes.
Also on February 2, the World Health Organization (WHO) downgraded the Bahamas from a Category 2 to a Category 3 on its Zika Virus (ZIKV) Classification Table, signifying that there have been no new cases of Zika identified in the area or from travelers in the past 12 months, according to the CTO.
This classification table evaluates the geographical distribution of Zika virus across four categories, Category 1 being the most threatening and Category 4 representing areas with no documented past or current transmissions.
The Bahamas Ministry of Health confirmed that the last reported cases of Zika were in November of 2016. At that time, all cases sought medical attention after having symptoms suggestive of Zika virus infection.
All clients were treated for associated symptoms and did well. Based on the histories received from the cases, it was determined that there was a mix of travel-associated and local transmission.