The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended its travel warning to another eight countries or territories that pose a risk of infection with Zika, a mosquito-borne virus spreading through the Caribbean and Latin America.
According to a Reuters report published today, this warning adds Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Cape Verde, Samoa and the island of Saint Martin to a list of 14 countries and territories.
The agency issued an advisory last week against travel to Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The CDC has cautioned pregnant women not to travel to these areas as Zika has been suspected to lead to birth defects.
Last week, Minister of Health, Dr. George Norton had reported to the National Assembly that Guyana had found one confirmed case of the Zika virus.
The Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also known to carry the dengue, yellow fever and Chikungunya viruses.
Health experts are unsure why the virus – detected in Africa in 1947 but unknown in the Americas until last year – is spreading so rapidly in Brazil and neighboring countries.