|Zika Virus in Latin America|
January 25, 2016
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a travel alert for people traveling to regions and countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The CDC describes Zika as:
However, the Zika virus has also been linked to increases in microcephaly cases, which cause underdeveloped brains in infants. At this point, the CDC advises that pregnant women, and women trying to get pregnant, consider postponing their travel to these regions.
For the average traveler like students preparing to study abroad, the risk seems to be similar to other vector borne diseases in the region, such as dengue or chikungunya. The best advice for students is to protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites:
We will continue to monitor this situation and provide any relevant updates. The full CDC warning can be found here:
Please contact Eryn Espín-Kudzinski, Director of Health, Safety and Security with any questions or concerns.