(Response to question raised by the Honourable Claude Carignan on October 6, 2016)
Communicating the risk of the Zika virus to travelling Canadians is an ongoing activity for the Public Health Agency of Canada. We are actively advising all travellers to take measures to prevent mosquito bites. We have strongly recommended that pregnant women or those planning a pregnancy should avoid travel to countries or areas in the United States with reported mosquito-borne Zika virus due to potential adverse impacts on fetal development. In addition to the information posted on Canada.ca and through social media, the Government is working with travel health experts and those caring for pregnant women across the country to provide patients with timely and accurate advice on the risks of the disease, especially to fetal development. We have a number of additional tools in place as the risk to Canadians increases. These include proactive media outreach, advice on travel websites, notices in airports, and other public awareness activities. Awareness resources for Canadian travellers and education materials for health care professionals are some of the products that will be posted on the Zika virus Canada.ca web page and promoted through social media and shared and promoted for use with established partners and stakeholders.