Travel Health Notice may put a damper on vacation plans

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With the new school year beginning, students may already be thinking ahead to upcoming holidays. Fall reading week in October, the winter holidays in December and spring reading week in February are times when students should probably be studying but many opt instead for some rest and relaxation to gear them up for exam time.

The spread of the Zika virus may put a damper on plans to travel to beachy locations. The government of Canada has issued travel health notices for many popular vacation spots and may issue more as the spread of the virus continues and more information becomes available.

Currently listed at level two out of four are: the Caribbean, including Cuba and the Dominican Republic; Central America, including Panama; South America including Brazil and Argentina; South East Asia, including Thailand and Indonesia; the Ocean Pacific Islands, including Fiji and Samoa; limited areas of West Africa; Mexico and certain parts of the United States including Miami, Florida, and its surrounding areas.

Zika does not necessarily mean you have to cancel your travel plans. Travelers can reduce their risk of contracting the virus by protecting themselves from mosquito bites and using condoms to prevent sexual transmission. The government also warns if you’re pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or planning on getting someone pregnant, it may be for the best to choose an alternative travel destination to be sure you do not contract the virus.

Before traveling, check with your travel insurance company to see if medical coverage is provided if you are traveling to a location with a travel health notice. If you think you might like to cancel an already purchased  trip, make sure your trip cancellation insurance covers cancellation because of a potential medical threat. This type of insurance is meant to protect travelers should they need to cancel their trip due to unforeseen circumstances, or if their trip is delayed, but may not cover the cancellation of a trip because of an upgrade in the travel health advisory.

 

“Zika does not necessarily mean you have to cancel your travel plans. Travelers can reduce their risk of contracting the virus by protecting themselves from mosquito bites and using condoms to prevent sexual transmission”

 

For updates on locations with Zika virus activity and the potential threat, travelers can check healthycanadians.gc.ca and the World Health Organization’s Situation Report on the virus at http://www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/situation-report/en/.

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