In terms of traveling through Latin America there is a lot of panic regarding the Zika virus and it seems to be quite logical. However, us at Camino Travel would like to inform our clients and public a bit about it and see the real risks… and the not as real risks.
Summarizing the information acquitted from different sources:
Who is the population at risk?
1) Pregnant Women
If you are pregnant yes. Consider postponing your trip to Zika-affected or countries at risk (Costa Rica and the others). Through 2015, pediatric neurologists in Brazil started to see that some pregnant women infected with Zika gave birth to babies with an awful birth defect called microcephaly, which is described by a contracted head and incomplete brain development.
As Zika reached Brazil in the April of 2015, more than 4,000 cases of microcephaly have been stated in newborns born to mothers with Zika virus.
Scientists are still researching how many of these birth congenital disorders were really caused by the virus, and if the link is real (i.e., whether it’s Zika and not an interaction with other environmental factors causing the harm to fetuses).
In the meantime, as a precaution measure, the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention is recommending pregnant women to avoid areas with the virus. You can see this list for countries that presently have Zika travel advisories and expect that the CDC will keep adding more to the list as the virus extents. And if you do cancel because of Zika, your airline may be posing a refund or credit, so make sure to ask about that.
2) Women trying to get pregnant
Please be careful. The CDC recommends consulting your doctor before traveling and following steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.
3) Women who want to get pregnant
No need to worry. Zika virus does not seem to risk of birth defects for future pregnancies. As best researchers can tell, the virus clears itself from the body pretty quickly, remaining in the blood for only about a week after infection.
4) Men with a partner who is trying to become pregnant
It’s likely that a man who travels to an infected region and gets bitten by a mosquito carrying Zika could later conduct the virus through sexual intercourse. There have been two studies in the medical literature that suggest this is a risk.
There’s one asterisk that should be placed on all of the above. Up until 2007 there were only 14 cases of Zika reported, which means that we’re just learning about the virus’s full effects.
So for now, just be careful. Enjoy your trip and wear bug repellent all the time.
Please contact us if you have any further doubts about other measures. By now, the WHO is only recommending the use of repellent.
If you are part of the population at risk and already made travel plans with us: Please be assured that we will do everything possible to support you and if necessary hold your holidays plan to another moment or give you a refund. However sometimes it does not depend on us, so please contact your travel consultant and we will support any ideas you have for this special and temporary situation.