Disney Cruise Line issued a travel alert on the heels of a recently issued a travel alert from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for travelers to specific countries in the Caribbean and Latin America due to the Zika virus, a mosquito related illness.
Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. While the most common symptoms are usually mild and include fever, rash, joint pain and pink eye, pregnant women should pay special attention to the travel alert and take necessary precaution to avoid mosquito bites.
The precautions recommended by the CDC are similar to those to prevent other mosquito borne illnesses like dengue fever, chikungunya, and West Nile virus and include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and using insect repellents containing DEET to avoid mosquito bites.
In December 2015, the first local transmission of Zika virus infection (Zika) were reported in Mexico, Puerto Rico and in the Caribbean. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with Zika virus, spreading it to people. Since then, the following Caribbean countries have reported ongoing transmission of Zika:
Additional information can be found under the Travelers Health section of the CDC website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
As a result of this travel alert, guests who are pregnant may wish to modify their cruise reservation. An email will be sent to Travel Agents or Guests who have bookings that are affected by this travel alert. If a guest wishes to modify their reservation due to the Zika Virus, please call the Disney Cruise Line Contact Center for assistance at 800-939-2784 or 407-566-7000.
No additional details were provided by DCL on how they will deal with cancelation fees or if they will allow guest to rebook a different itinerary at the rate based on their original booking.
I’d like to thank StitchKingdom.com for alerting us to the Zika virus travel advisory.
What can travelers do to prevent Zika?
There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites:
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. Always use as directed.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
- Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children aged >2 months.
- Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
- Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.