Date lodged: 20 June 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the threat from the Zika virus and what information is being provided by the NHS to people visiting affected countries.
Answered by: Aileen Campbell 18 July 2016
The mosquito vectors for the Zika virus are not able to survive in the Scottish climate, and therefore the risk to Scotland is very low because it would not be possible for the virus to spread easily here.
Health Protection Scotland regularly reviews their advice, taking into account available evidence, to ensure information given to people visiting, and returning from affected countries is up-to-date. This is done at cross-governmental level to ensure advice for the UK is consistent. Detailed information can be found on Health Protection Scotland’s website and the public-facing Fit for Travel website. As an example of the information provided, all travellers to affected areas are advised to seek travel advice from a health care provider at least six to eight weeks in advance of travel, which includes advice on risk of sexual transmission of Zika virus, and particularly, advice for those who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.