The Ministry of Public Health would like to reassure public that there is no case of Zika virus in the country.
The Public Health Department is working closely with the WHO EMRO office to ensure that all needed actions are taken. The entire health sector has been alerted to be ready to deal with any suspected case amongst returning travelers. The Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits the virus is not present in Qatar; further studies are however ongoing. WHO has advised no travel restrictions; however, the Ministry of Public Health advises all residents to postpone non-essential travel to the 24 affected countries; in particular women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the near future should consider delaying travel to areas with Zika virus present.
Zika virus infection is a mild febrile viral illness transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti in tropical regions. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. Reports from several countries, most notably Brazil, demonstrate an increase in severe fetal birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes in babies whose mothers were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. Additional international research is necessary and ongoing to determine the link between Zika virus and fetal damage.
Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes mostly active during daytime, it's important that all travelers visiting affected areas continue to take protective measures to prevent mosquito bites throughout the day; including the following:
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
Use insect repellents
Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents).
Use bed nets as necessary
Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.