Message for U.S. Citizens: Zika Virus

The Zika virus is an emerging infection widespread throughout much of Latin America and the Caribbean. There is a strong potential that this infection will continue to spread. A Zika infection spreads through mosquito bites and is typically manifested as a mild flu-like illness, fever, a rash, conjunctivitis, and joint pains but most cases are “silent”, meaning that the infected person feels no symptoms at all. Health authorities such as the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization harbor serious concerns that an infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects in newborn babies whose mothers may have been infected with the Zika virus.

Pregnant women especially should protect themselves from getting bitten by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. CDC precautions should be followed and can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html

We urge you to follow any updates regarding the Zika virus at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/zika-virus-caribbean

To obtain CDC travel notices, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) from within the United States, or 1-404-639-3534 from overseas, or visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Trinidad and Tobago enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at http://www.travel.state.gov/ or trinidad.usembassy.gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in the event of an emergency. If you don’t have internet access, you can enroll in person at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s Web site, where you will find the most current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Trinidad and Tobago. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s Web site.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1 888 407 4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1 202 501 4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain is located at 15 Queen’s Park West, Port of Spain. Routine services are by appointment only. To schedule your appointment, please visit trinidad.usembassy.gov, email acspos@state.gov or call 868 622 6371. U.S. citizens in Trinidad and Tobago who need emergency services should call the Embassy at 868 622 6371 for assistance.