Zika Virus in Mexico: What you need to know
Lately, there’s been a lot of fuzz around the Zika Virus outbreak, and safety concerns regarding international travel especially in Latin América, and of course Mexico. The World Health Organization declared the Zika Virus a Global Health Emergency on February 1, 2016. Since that date a lot of information has been divulged which runs from objective facts to alarmist news. After scanning a bit on the web, trying to find truthful information about the actual situation and security issues, I found fairly easy that most of media tend to exaggerate on just how safe or unsafe the actual situation is.
So I asked myself what does a traveler actually need to know about the Zika Virus before coming to Mexico? Here’s my answer: For starters, what is the Zika Virus Disease? As most people know, it is vector-borne and it is transmitted by the bite of a special kind of mosquito. The virus requires from 3 to 12 days of incubation period, and the symptoms and signs are comparable to catching an average cold including fever, rash, conjunctivitis, headaches, arthritic and muscular aches and general discomfort. The symptoms and signs usually last from 4 to 7 days, and there’s no cure although symptomatic treatment is enough for waiting on the virus clear on its own. Here’s a list of all Mexican states and the number of autochthonous incidences, which mean the virus was acquired on the place of residence, of the Zika Virus:
SOURCE: SINAVE/DGE/SS: Sistema de Vigilancia Epidemiológica de Enfermedad por virus del Zika* Hasta el 8 de julio de 2016.
It’s no coincidence the highest index is clustered in the most rural states of Mexico, while the states that don’t appear in the chart have no cases reported.
If it’s not that bad, why so much fuzz about it? Regardless of being a relatively low-risk disease, there has been some links between pregnant Zika infections and microcephaly in the newborn. Nevertheless, these cases are extremely rare. Then, how can you look after yourself when traveling to Mexico? There are several recommendations to keep in mind in order to reduce the chances of getting this annoying virus: Avoid the Zika Virus while traveling with this recommendations !