Zika Virus

The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens living and traveling in Suriname of a public health concern regarding the zika virus.  Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted virus recently identified in Suriname and spreading.  The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease (Zika) are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. A possible link between Zika virus infection in pregnant women and subsequent birth defects is being investigated in Brazil.

Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and in South and Central America. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries. Zika virus is not currently found in the United States. However, cases of Zika have been reported in returning travelers.

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Travelers can protect themselves from this disease by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. When traveling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes have been reported, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has some excellent websites for additional information on the chikungunya virus.

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.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Suriname enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  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 an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Information For Suriname.  For additional information, refer to the Traveler’s Checklist on the State Department’s website.

Emergencies involving U.S. citizens can be reported to the U.S. Embassy by contacting the American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit, located at 129 Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat, Paramaribo, Suriname, telephone +(597) 472-900 ext. 2237, and email at caparamar@state.gov.