Joint Statement from Minister of Health and Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health on Zika Virus
Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long Term Care and Dr. David Williams, Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued the following statement:
"The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, in cooperation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Ontario, the Centre for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and other national and international partners are continuing to monitor and assess Zika virus infection.
The risk to Ontarians is very low, as the mosquitoes known to transmit the virus are not established in Canada and are not well-suited to our climate.
Current evidence suggests that Zika virus is likely to persist and spread in the Americas and the South Pacific. However, there is ongoing risk to Ontarians travelling to regions affected with Zika virus. Travellers should protect themselves against Zika virus by taking protective measures to prevent mosquito bites and consult their health care provider before travelling.
It is recommended that pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant discuss their travel plans with their health care provider to assess their risk and consider postponing travel to areas where the Zika virus is circulating in the Americas.
We will continue to assess the risk on an ongoing basis by working with our partners, and support enhanced awareness for Ontarians."
Additional background on the Zika virus:
On January 15, 2016, the Public Health Agency of Canada issued a Public Health Notice and a Travel Health Notice concerning Zika virus following confirmed travel-related cases of Zika virus infection in Canada originating from Central and South America.
Advice to Ontarians
Ontarians visiting affected areas should protect themselves against Zika virus by taking individual protective measures to prevent mosquito bites, including using insect repellent, protective clothing, mosquito nets, screened doors and windows. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against Zika virus infection.