Things You Should Know About The Zika Virus Before You Go On Vacation
Thinking about changing your travel plans due to concerns over the Zika virus? For women — in particular, anyone planning on having children — the disease has made us a lot more likely to say “Maybe I’ll stay at home.” Even a few athletes have passed up on going to Rio for the Olympics in August over concerns.
Just how worried should you be? We’ve got the answers to all of the questions you have and things you’ve been worrying about when it comes to traveling while the Zika virus continues to make headlines. If you’re worried about the effects that such a disease could have on you and your future family, read on to find out what you need to know about changing up (or keeping) your travel plans this year.
Know Which Countries to Avoid or Be Cautious in
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) keeps an updated list. Quite a few countries are listed, including Puerto Rico and The U.S. Virgin Islands.
Travelers Need Extra Mosquito Protection
If you’re already in or are traveling to an infected area, use mosquito repellent that contains DEET and wear long clothing to protect yourself.
Most People Don’t Know They’ve Been Infected
The symptoms are very mild and only appear in one out of five infected people. That’s why if you’ve traveled to an at risk country or know someone who has, testing is important.
Zika Can Also Be Sexually Transmitted
So it’s important to know the recent travel history of anyone you sleep with. They could transmit it to you even if they’ve never had any symptoms. Condoms can reduce the risk of transmission.
All Pregnant Women Are at Risk
Not just women in their first trimester. Because we know so little about Zika, many doctors are now saying that all pregnant women should avoid traveling to affected countries.
Women Who Are Planning to Get Pregnant May Be Too
To be safe, many are warning that anyone who’s planning to get pregnant in the next six months should avoid risking infection.
Everyone Should Be Careful
While unborn babies are the most at risk, healthy adults can bring the disease back to the United States and potentially spread it. There have already been quite a few cases reported in states like Florida and New York.
You Can Reschedule Your Vacation
Many U.S. airlines are allowing travelers to reschedule their planned trips to countries on the CDC list free of charge.
Other Modes of Travel May Also Be Flexible
Several destination hotels and cruises are offering flexible cancellation policies as well. It can’t hurt to reach out to see if you can change dates to stay safe.
Zika Could Make Its Way to the United States
But no cases of infection from a mosquito to a person have been reported here as of yet.
You Don’t Need to Panic Just Yet
Thanks to President Obama, billions of dollars are being used to fund studies designed to help vaccinate against the virus.
You Don’t Have to Worry About Travels from More Than Six Months Ago
Once women have been exposed to Zika they’re immune to it. If it’s been six months to a year since you’ve traveled to an infected country you shouldn’t worry about transmitting it if you get pregnant.