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March 3, 2016
The Zika Virus - Traveling Safe on Spring Break
Our annual Very Best Spring Break Ideas helps you plan
Dear Family Travelers:

The good news, according to the Centers for Disease Control, only one in 5 people infected with Zika (primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito) will get sick.

The bad news: Zika Virus continues to spread through the Caribbean, including Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, among others-all popular Spring Break destinations for families as well as their college students.

Those who have gotten sick in the U.S were mostly infected outside of the country. And once you have Zika, you are unlikely to get it again.

If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, the CDC says, postpone travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing, if you can.  (For the most current information about Zika virus and travel, visit www.cdc.gov/zika.) 

As we all now know, Zika has been linked to devastating birth defects of the brain called microcephaly. 

At the moment, experts say, there is no evidence that Zika virus is serious in young children or older children. But you might want to reconsider your travel plans if you have a young infant as you shouldn't use insect repellent on babies younger than two months, the CDC says.

The best way to avoid Zika is to avoid getting bitten and follow the CDC guidelines:
  • Use mosquito nets on strollers and dress babies and kids in clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • Make sure there are screens on windows if windows are open.
  • Consider clothes that are treated with repellent. I've used them very effectively. (You can get them at REI, L.L. Bean and ExOfficio, among other places.)
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats and use an appropriate insect repellent.
  • Apply sunscreen before insect repellent
Of course no one wants to get sick on vacation or come home sick. Of course you think it isn't going to happen to you. But remember, there really isn't a treatment for Zika or a vaccine.  If you have symptoms -- typical symptoms include a fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis -- all you can do is rest, drink a lot of fluids and take acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.

Travel safely and enjoy your family's spring break.


There_s still a lot of time left for Fun in the Snow_
There's still a lot of time left for Fun in the Snow!


And from our partners at Family Travel Forum

 Find out what local and visiting kids have to say about nine great American travel destinations through our Kids' Guides Series from Globe Pequot Press.
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