Mexico says Zika Virus does not put tourists at risk

The Mexico Tourism Board reported that the Zika virus infection is a new and emerging disease in the country with 37 confirmed cases in the country on February 1, 2016.

Epidemiologic studies have found that the virus is under control in the country. With very few cases identified and containment efforts in place the tourism industry in Mexico has not been affected and is not at risk.

The Ministry of Health of Mexico launched a variety of measures to maintain epidemiological control of the virus and limit its potential to spread. As the Zika virus infection is similar to that of dengue and chikungunya, prevention programs, health communication activities, and epidemiology screenings implemented since 2014, have helped to minimize the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in the country.

Measures to prevent and control the virus will remain in place to inhibit an outbreak. Additionally, stronger clinical services and operations, epidemiology screenings, health communication programs and vector control efforts have been deployed.

The Mexico Tourism Board urges visitors to follow the guidelines presented by the Ministry of Health of Mexico to reduce the chance of mosquito bites. These measures are the same the country has advised tourist for years to control the Dengue virus and should be continued to protect people from all mosquito-borne illnesses.

Recommendations for the public and pregnant women:

  • Wear long sleeves, pants, and bug repellant
  • Wash and cover the containers and dishes that hold water
  • Keep doors and windows closed and use screens
  • Follow prenatal care guidelines
  • Residents, please empty outdoor containers that are trapping water

Mexico has launched a radio and television ad campaign to encourage pregnant women to take these measures to avoid getting Zika, even though none of the confirmed cases were with pregnant women.

The Health Department says pregnant women should take special care after babies were born in Brazil with extremely small heads, possibly related to their mothers being infected with the Zika virus, however tests have not been conclusive on the cause of the deformations.

The ads are scheduled to run at least through March, and tell women the disease “could seriously affect your pregnancy.”

This information is provided by the Mexican government and should not be considered as a guarantee of health by this publication for tourists or residents in Mexico. As with all foreign travel your body is introduced to new viruses and bacterias and precautions should be taken while traveling. Travelers should consult with their doctors about any vaccines recommended for their area of travel and ensure they are healthy enough for travel to their selected destination and follow any preventative measures established by the country where you will be traveling.

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