February 01, 2016

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  • What is the hub bub about ZIKA virus?

    We just spent a few days (actually it ended up being 11 days - it was supposed to be 7 but ended up being +4 thanks to Jonas the snow storm!!) in Anguilla and St Martin. Amazing islands! These islands both have perfect weather, gorgeous sprawling beaches, clear warm blue waters, and...like most tropical climates, loads of mosquitoes. These island both  have confirmed cases of ZIKA.

    We stayed in two world class resorts (@CapJuluca and @LaSamana) and both of these hotels had cans of OFF! everywhere. Each morning, we would get the Times Digest and in it would be some article reporting on ZIKA virus. ZIKA has been around for over 50 years (ZIKA came out of the Zika Forest in Uganda in 1947 in a rhesus monkey, and again in 1948 in the mosquito Aedes africanus, which is the forest relative of Aedes aegypti - the same type of mosquito Aromaflage tested on. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus can both spread Zika. Sexual transmission between people has also been reported - though this is suspect.)

    Now, people are concerned about traveling to Brazil for the Olympics because of potential risks associated with Zika. Yes, Zika is a scary word. Yes, some of the outcomes are potentially very scary. If you are in a tropical climate, should you be protected with Aromaflage, sleep with a mosquito net, be inside at dawn and dusk? Of course. Always reduce your risk of being bitten. However, one must weigh risk with reward and truly understand the probability that he/she will contract a certain disease and what the true ramifications of that disease will be. I am not claiming to be a prognosticator, nor do I know more than the scientists know, but I feel as though the public should ask hard questions, especially of things that appear to be as newsworthy as the Zika Virus. Is it the new buzzword? What happened to Chikengunya and why is that no longer a focus in the news? I simply posit the idea that people, especially educated travelers, should understand as much as they can about diseases and true travel risks. Mass hysteria may be more dangerous than the actual diseases themselves. Be careful and educate yourselves. You deserve to know...especially if you may be pregnant, about to conceive, or going on the trip of a lifetime.
    Here are two helpful links: 
    This article is my opinion and should not be taken as fact - please consult your health practitioner and perhaps the CDC immediately if you have concerns about Zika or any other disease.

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