Should I Be Concerned About Zika Virus in Peru?

Crooked Trails is aware of the concern of the Zika Virus that is spreading in South America. Peru has had two reported cases of the virus in a country of 30 million. Peru’s Health Minister is taking measures to ensure the virus does not spread in the country.

The Zika Virus is a mosquito-borne viral infection which is transmitted by the same type of mosquito linked to Dengue and Chikungunya. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a state of emergency on Feb 1st, and the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued an enhanced precaution alert for those traveling to affected regions.

The virus is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti.  80% of those infected will not experience any symptoms. The symptoms of the Zika Virus are not as severe as Dengue and Yellow Fever, and treatment is rest and Tylenol; however, there is no vaccine or cure for it. The virus has been linked to microcephaly which is dangerous to unborn fetuses, should pregnant women be infected. That link has not been proven yet, but is highly probable.

We understand that there has been a lot of international media attention focused on the Zika Virus. It is unlikely that Crooked Trails participants will be affected by Zika while travelling in Peru. Most of our travelers are at high elevation in the winter which is devoid of mosquitos. However our foremost concern is travelers’ safety and wellbeing, therefore we would like to reiterate the usual precautions you need to take to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, socks and shoes.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents and reapply as directed. If also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.

Our only recommendation is for pregnant women to consider travel to Peru on another occasion in accordance with CDC/WHO advice.

  • Stay informed about the Zika Virus- go to www.cdc.gov

 

photo by Tom via creative commons

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