Zika Virus Travel Health Update
The Zika Virus is creating a lot of buzz lately, all over the world, and is generating a lot of questions from people travelling. Concerns are revolving around the areas affected, the current spread of the virus, and other current developments as well as the future that the virus has globally. Of course, the risks of the Zika Virus are highest for pregnant women, but as there is no vaccine at this point, everyone who is travelling to affected regions should use caution and preventive measures whenever possible.
Zika Virus Affected Areas
Over the past week, the largest number of affected areas continues to be all over South America and Central America, areas where mosquitoes are active and allowing the spread of the disease. Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua are of particular concern in Central America, while Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and, of course, the epicentre of the outbreak in Brazil, are leading the way in South America.
Caribbean nations are also affected including the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico which seem to have been affected more than others recently. Slightly further north, Mexico is causing some concern as well, and there have been at least three cases reported in Lee County in Florida in the United States, as well as some cases on the west coast in California and Oregon as well.
It seems that no country with mosquitoes is immune from the spread of the virus, and travellers should be aware of its spread when considering travel plans.
Recent Zika Virus News
The Zika Virus is in the news all over the globe, but there are several stories that are of increased concern, particularly for travellers. In Honduras, for example, a state of emergency has been declared in the past week as the number of Zika virus infections has risen drastically.
In Costa Rica, meanwhile, plans have been announced to deploy nearly 14,000 workers from the Ministry of Public Security in order to fumigate and eliminate the breeding grounds of a type of mosquito which is known to spread the Zika virus. This is a massive undertaking that demonstrates the real concern that exists over the virus.
This year, with the 2016 Olympics to be held in Brazil, the world’s attention is focused on how the Zika virus could impact the Games and those who will be travelling to the area for that major world event. The organisers of the Games have issued a statement that they will do everything that they can to make sure that the environment is safe for both athletes and visitors in Brazil during the Olympics.
Future Zika Virus Developments
It does appear that a commercial Zika Virus test could be available in the coming weeks. Indications are that the test is very close to production, which could provide some benefits in the research against the disease. A more effective and efficient test could help to diagnose patients more quickly, and to monitor populations where the virus is spreading, identify trends and patterns, and so on.
Clearly, the Zika Virus is an issue globally, and should be monitored closely in the coming weeks and months. Anyone travelling to affected areas should keep up-to-date with the latest news and developments and take precautions minimise the risk of contracting the Zika virus.