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Zika Virus Discourages Americans From Latin America Travel

Zika Virus Discourages Americans From Latin America TravelZika Virus Discourages Americans From Latin America Travel

The rapidly spreading Zika virus is discouraging many Americans from traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean, with 41% of those aware of the disease saying they are less likely to take such a trip, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.

The poll is the latest sign the virus, suspected to be linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil, could depress travel to popular cold-weather getaways in the coming months, Reuters reported. Airlines and cruise ship operators have yet to report drops in bookings because of Zika, and analysts have downplayed the impact that newly sedentary parents-to-be could have on their revenue.

Still, awareness of the mosquito-borne virus has surged to nearly two-thirds of Americans, according to the poll of 1,595 adults in the United States conducted Feb. 1-5. That compares with 45% who had heard of Zika in a Reuters/Ipsos poll from late January.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised pregnant women to avoid travel to areas with an active outbreak of Zika, and the World Health Organization has declared an international emergency over the disease.

Of those aware of the virus, 41% said they were less likely to travel to Puerto Rico, Mexico or South America in the next 12 months because of Zika, the poll found. Some 48% said Zika had not changed the likelihood of their visiting those destinations, while others did not know.

Financialtribune.com