The Zika Virus is gaining attention in South and Central America

Due to the recent news reports and stories bringing awareness to a mosquito-borne illness we thought it would be good to address our stance on this global health issue. I will reference directly to two sources, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, as well as World Health Organization, both of which we trust and have followed for over 11 years in our travels to Central, and South America as well as to Thailand. 

What is Zika Virus?

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Where is Zika Virus?

Zika virus disease outbreaks were reported for the first time from the Pacific in 2007 and 2013 (Yap and French Polynesia, respectively), and in 2015 from the Americas (Brazil and Colombia) and Africa (Cape Verde). In addition, more than 13 countries in the Americas have reported sporadic Zika virus infections indicating rapid geographic expansion of Zika virus. Countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission

Should I avoid travelling to areas where Zika virus is occurring?

Travellers should stay informed about Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases and consult their local health or travel authorities if they are concerned.

To protect against Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, everyone should avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should follow this advice, and may also consult their local health authorities if travelling to an area with an ongoing Zika virus outbreak.

Based on available evidence, WHO is not recommending any travel or trade restrictions related to Zika virus disease. As a precautionary measure, some national governments have made public health and travel recommendations to their own populations, based on their assessments of the available evidence and local risk factors.

Our Specific Plan

Connect Global has traveled to central and south america for a little over a decade. While there have always been valid concerns surrounding mosquito-borne viruses in our travels, we have used the information to create plans of prevention rather than just avoiding travel altogether. With the new outbreak of Zika Virus the main concern is for women who are pregnant.

There are several ways to prevent contraction of Zika and other viruses such as Malaria and Dengue Fever. 

  • Wear long sleeve pants, and long sleeve shirts.
  • Use a mosquito repellant with deet
  • Spray or treat your clothing and bed sheets to repel mosquitos in addition to exposed skin
  • We recommend bringing a mosquito net you can use over your bed 

There are always concerns when choosing to travel outside of your home country. Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. We suggest getting informed - The more you know about the actual threat, the more you know about how to prevent the threat
  2. Bring your own personal repellant and look into treated clothing and or bed nets to bring with you. Zika Virus Prevention via the CDC
  3. Consult with your doctor about any vaccines that may be suggested for your intended destination
  4. Weigh out the pros and cons of any and all prevention methods and or vaccines versus the likelihood of contracting the disease and the symptoms of each disease

If you have any comments or any other concerns, questions or tips to add, please leave a comment below.