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Wedding & Honeymoon Travelers: What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus

Caribbean Mexico Planning Tips

As Zika continues to spread, the Centers for Disease Control has issued travel notices throughout the Caribbean, Central America and South America -- encompassing popular destination wedding and honeymoon locations like Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Barbados.

But what exactly are the key facts one should know when it comes to the Zika virus?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
  • Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
  • People with Zika virus disease usually have a mild fever, skin rash (exanthema) and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
  • The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
  • The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
Other important facts travelers should be aware of:
  • The CDC report was out of an 'abundance of caution' NOT the result of a specific incident.
  • Zika is not a new virus and has been around for many years in other countries.
  • Only recently did Brazil believe to have found a link between Zika and birth defects, but it is apparently isolated, and the results are still preliminary.
  • Infection is through mosquito bites which can be avoided.
  • Less than 1% of mosquitoes are believed to be carriers.
  • Only 20% of those infected become sick.
Prevention is Key:

While there is no vaccine currently available, experts say the best prevention is to protect oneself from mosquito bites using the following methods:
  • using insect repellent
  • wearing clothes (preferably light-coloured) that cover as much of the body as possible
  • using physical barriers such as screens, closed doors and windows
  • sleeping under mosquito nets
WHO also advises that special attention and help should be given to young children, the sick or elderly when it comes to taking protective measures.

Zika Virus Infection and Pregnancy

Studies are underway to determine whether there is a correlation between pregnant women infected by the virus giving birth to babies with birth defects and experiencing pregnancy problems.

But until more is known, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant:
  • Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
  • Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.
Zika Not Deterring Destination Wedding or Honeymoon Travelers

Yahoo.com reports that a survey conducted by Travel Leaders Group, shows that travelers are not being deterred by Zika outbreaks or the resulting issued travel notices.

According to the survey, nearly 94% of travel agents have had no cancellations for their destination wedding clients. And similarly, roughly 93% have had no cancellations for their honeymoon clientele.

Are you worried about the Zika virus? Have your destination wedding guests expressed any concern?


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