As the Zika virus spreads through Southern and Central America, Toronto residents need to worry about the virus spreading here, health officials say.
According to a public health notice posted by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the mosquito-transmitted virus is a low-risk to Canadians because the type of insects known to carry the virus is not established in Canada and is not well suited to our climate.
Residents planning to travel to the affected areas are advised to take precautions such as using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to reduce their chances of being bitten and infected.
The virus is known to cause microcephaly (abnormally small head), a condition with potentially life-long consequences.
Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant are being advised by Health Canada to postpone or restrict travel to affected areas and to speak to their healthcare practitioner prior to departure.
There are no inoculations or treatments for the virus and treatment is generally limited to symptom relief.