Aussies warned against travel to Bali due to Zika

Bali is a popular destination for Australian travellers. Photo / iStock
Bali is a popular destination for Australian travellers. Photo / iStock

Australian travellers are being warned against travel to Bali due to the prevalence of the Zika virus.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has asked travellers to Indonesia to exercise a "high degree of caution".

"Given the possibility that Zika virus can cause severe malformations in unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, pregnant women should discuss any travel plans with the travel doctor and consider postponing travel to Indonesia," a statement from the department said.

The warning advises travellers to Indonesia to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Travel Doctors' Jennifer Sisson told the NT News the risk of transmission in Indonesia was relatively low, but not non-existant.

"There might be an odd case here or there but they're not having an actual outbreak," she said.

"Sporadic transmission means from time to time there is a case but it's certainly not an outbreak like Brazil."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has not issued a specific warning for New Zealand travellers to the country and its Indonesia travel advice was last reviewed in January.

However, MFAT's Zika advice page points to a list from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control website, which includes Indonesia as a country with sporadic transmission of the virus.

MFAT advises those travelling to affected areas to protest themselves against mosquito bites and consider delaying travel for pregnant woman, or those who plan to become pregnant.

Men who have travelled to a Zika-affected area are advised to avoid sex or use condoms, even when symptoms to not present.

49 countries are now listed as having current or recent transmission of the virus, including Brazil, Samoa, Tonga and Vietnam.


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