Published on : Monday, May 2, 2016
The quick spread of Zika virus through the Caribbean has raised concerns among local authorities about the tourist flow to the region. The local authorities fear its link with microcephaly and other fatal brain defects, as well as the recent death of a Puerto Rican man infected with the virus, will cause a drop in tourism to the region.
The secretary-general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Hugh Riley, told EFE that for the moment large tourism operators have not reported any significant Zika-triggered decrease in demand.
The CTO says that no information is currently available on how the virus, which like dengue fever and Chikungunya is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, has affected the regional tourist industry and that it is too early to draw any conclusions.
The Puerto Rican government has launched a campaign aimed at convincing would-be tourists that it is safe to travel to the U.S. commonwealth. This campaign follows after the confirmed death of 70-year-old man who had been hospitalized in February with fever. He died due to internal bleeding caused by a rare immune reaction to the virus.