Zika virus having impact on tourism in Puerto Rico

Published on : Monday, February 8, 2016

ZikaZika virus is having an impact on tourism in Puerto Rico, with some tourist groups cancelling reservations, particularly weddings in hotels on the Caribbean island.

 
In Puerto Rico, health officials have confirmed 22 cases, including a pregnant woman and a man with zika who developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, a government statement said.

 

Guillain-Barre is a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves.
Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has declared a public health emergency because of the zika virus.

 
However, there were no reports of conventions being cancelled.

 
The WHO has reported 267 separate zika outbreaks in the Americas, with Brazil reporting the greatest number of zika infections at more than one million. Colombia has more than 20,000, the WHO said.

 
Zika was previously thought to be transmitted only by mosquitoes, but cases have now also included blood transfusion and sexual intercourse with an infected person.

 
While the symptoms of the disease for most people are only rash, fever and flu-like effects, catching it during pregnancy can result in the birth of child with microcephaly, a serious birth defect that results in an abnormally small head and brain.

 
The Virgin Islands, Barbados and Jamaica in the Caribbean are most vulnerable because they rely on tourism to support their economies, according to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council.

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