Zika virus advice for air crew published

The ITF has produced advice to help air crews avoid contracting the Zika virus.

The fact sheet can be downloaded here.

Most media attention has been on the prevalence of the virus in the Americas, but it is also circulating in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. It can be spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, and through blood transfusion and sexual contact.

The Zika virus disease usually causes a mild fever, skin rash and conjunctivitis for a period of two to seven days. It is particularly dangerous for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant as it has been linked to genetic birth defects. There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for the virus.

ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho said: “We want to make sure air crews stay safe when you’re on stop overs in areas affected by the Zika virus.

“When you’re packing, make sure you’ve got insect repellent and light clothes to cover yourself to protect against mosquito bites when you’re oudoors. In hotels, keep windows closed.

“Some countries have advised considering postponing planned pregnancies and using condoms during sex. And if you’re pregnant, you should seek medical advice before travelling.” 

The ITF has also produced a fact sheet on Zika for seafarers. It is available in English, MyanmaresePortuguese, Simplified Chinese and Spanish.

Get in touch with the ITF if you’re a member of air crew who is affected by the Zika virus: altaf_asif@itf.org.uk.

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