Eli Orzessek is Travel's Digital Content Producer.

Ask Away: Be wary of Zika

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New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has no specific warnings in place for Zika in Bali.  Photo / Java Tourism
New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has no specific warnings in place for Zika in Bali. Photo / Java Tourism

Do you know if Bali or Hawaii have any warnings in place about the Zika virus? What website would you recommend I visit to find out more?

- Rosie

Bali is very popular with Australian travellers; more than a million Aussies head there each year.

In June, Australians were warned about Zika in Bali, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade asked travellers to Indonesia to exercise a "high degree of caution". Travel Doctors' Jennifer Sisson told the NT News the risk of transmission in Indonesia was relatively low, but not non-existent.

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

However, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has no specific warnings in place for Indonesia — it's more concerned about threats of terrorism.

Looking at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control's page for Zika transmission, Indonesia is listed as a place with past transmission.

This means local Zika virus transmission has been reported since 2007 — but there haven't been any cases reported in the past three months.

According to the Hawaiian state government, Zika is not circulating in Hawaii and the only infections have come from people arriving in Hawaii from overseas.

I wouldn't think it's widespread enough in either destination to affect your travel plans, but it always pays to be cautious — so be sure to pack that bug spray and apply it liberally.

As for websites, MFAT's Safe Travel website is always a good place to start.

There are medical practices specialising in travel, but you should be able to find out all you need to know from your GP.

Tweet us @NZHTravel or use the hashtag #NZHAskAway
Email your questions to askaway@nzherald.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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Eli Orzessek is Travel's Digital Content Producer.

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