Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Zika Virus. Feb 19

The U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, informs U.S. citizens that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel notice for Costa Rica regarding the Zika virus. There is evidence that Zika is linked to birth defects in the fetuses of infected pregnant women and Guillain-Barré syndrome in infected individuals of any age or gender.  Zika is typically a mosquito-borne illness, but there are reports that the virus has been transmitted through sexual contact and blood transfusion.  For general information about Zika, please visit the CDC website.  For information about 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 Costa Rica enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.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 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 Specific Information for Costa Rica.  For additional information, refer to A Traveler’s Checklist on the State Department’s website.

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 5:00 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/Consulate in San Jose is located at Av. O Calle 120, Rohrmoser. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is 2519-2000.

Note: The timestamp on this e-mail message may reflect Washington, D.C., time, which may differ from local time.