According to the World Health Organization, the Zika virus is here to stay. And with people planning their winter vacations, travelers are being advised to pack bug spray and long sleeve clothing.
“Travelers are busy looking for last minute vacation plans.
“Deanna Sutherland Rigby from Vision Travel says warmer destinations are the most popular this time of year.
“’Dominican, Cuba, Mexico and other southern Caribbean Islands.’
“They’re also places with the highest risks of contracting Zika.
“Sutherland Rigby says while it is not top of mind for many vacationers it has been a topic of discussion this season.
“Cases of Zika have now been reported in over 50 countries.
“’You really can’t go anywhere now that there isn’t Zika virus.’
“Dr. Fiona Hunter is studying how the virus spreads to mosquitoes. She recently travelled to Brazil, another hot spot for the virus, and even plans on taking her family to the Dominican Republic this year.
“’This is the new normal- having Zika virus in the south and if you do choose to go somewhere you have to take care of yourself.’
“She advises vacationers to bring bug spray with them because some places don’t sell them.
“According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention mosquitoes that spread Zika don’t live at elevations above 2000 metres.
“Dr. Hunter says there is still a lot not known about Zika, which has been linked to severe birth defects.
“’Anybody out there who is either not pregnant or not planning on getting pregnant – Zika virus is really nothing to worry about.,’ said Dr. Brett Belchetz.
“Men and women are urged to practice safe sex for six months after travelling to Zika infected areas.