If you have had a baby in the last few months, you are probably ready for a fun summer getaway. And since it's hard to travel internationally with an infant in tow, staying within the United States is a good option. You might be concerned to travel because of the many U.S. states that have several confirmed cases of the Zika virus. How do you know if your baby will be at risk? Which U.S. destinations is your baby be most likely to encounter the Zika virus?
The most important thing to know is that none of the Zika cases within the United States have been acquired locally. Every patient was infected while traveling either to Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, or through sexual contact. The same, however, cannot be said about U.S. territories that have seen locally acquired cases of Zika. The next important fact is that most people infected by Zika recover quickly and with few symptoms. The big concern is for pregnant woman who get infected with Zika and are at great risk for delivering a child with microcephaly.
Taking these facts into consideration, you can decide if you still want to travel with your baby. The following are some U.S. destinations with the greatest chance for your family to be exposed to the Zika virus.
It may seem like a beautiful family vacation spot, but your baby will have a high chance of encountering Zika in Puerto Rico. Of the United States and its territories, Puerto Rico has the highest number of locally acquired Zika cases. Health.com reported that Puerto Rico's Health Department confirmed that as of May 4, 2016, it has 707 cases of the Zika virus. A resident of Puerto Rico was recently the first U.S. Zika-related death according to USA Today.
Strolling your baby through Central Park may have been on your bucket list, but WBNG News reported that according to the New York State Department of Health, 104 cases of Zika have been confirmed in New York. All of these cases have been travel-related, but families visiting New York should still protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellent.
If you are thinking of taking your children to visit one of Orlando's famed theme parks this summer, it's important to know that the confirmed number of Zika cases in Florida has reached 102, according to Patch.com. None of the cases have been locally acquired, and only three patients are still exhibiting symptoms.
The Department Public Health in California reported 43 confirmed Zika cases as of April 29, 2016. If you still have your heart set on visiting a theme park, the LA Times recently stated that the risk of contracting Zika in California is low. None of the cases have been locally acquired.
If you have always wanted to take your family to the Lonestar State, you should know that there are 31 travel-related cases of Zika in Texas according to Fox News 7 Austin. Officials in Texas are most concerned for pregnant women, but advise everyone who lives or visits the state to take precautions. The University of Texas is currently working on an at-home test for the Zika virus.