Security Message: Update on Zika Virus in The Bahamas

November 18, 2016

The U.S. Embassy in Nassau provides this update of its previous message informing U.S. citizens that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel notice for The Bahamas regarding the Zika virus.  The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. This conclusion was based on increasing evidence from a number of recently published studies and a careful evaluation using established scientific criteria.  Zika may also be linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can affect individuals of any age or sex.  Zika virus is typically a mosquito-borne illness, but there have been confirmed cases of transmission through sexual contact and blood transfusion. CDC reports that travel to elevations higher than 2,000 m (6,500 ft) above sea level is considered to have minimal likelihood for mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission, even within countries reporting active transmission. CDC recommends that women who are pregnant should not travel to areas that are at elevations less than 2,000 m above sea level in countries with ongoing Zika virus transmission. For general information about Zika, please visit the CDC website.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Bahamas Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in The Bahamas, located at 42 Queen Street (across from the British Colonial Hilton Hotel), Nassau; telephone: 242-322-1181; after hours emergency telephone: 242-357-7004; ACS unit fax: 242-356-7174; e-mail: ACSNASSAU@state.gov ; web page: https://bs.usembassy.gov.
  • The Turks & Caicos Consular Agency is located at 2 Venture Ct., Grace Bay Suite 102E, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. The Consular Agent is LeShelle Tull-Thomas (649-232-5713, TullThomasLS@state.gov).
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.