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Travel to Mexico City while pregnant - Zika?

Travel to Mexico City while pregnant - Zika?

Old Mar 3, 16, 11:01 am
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Travel to Mexico City while pregnant - Zika?

Looking for some help to determine whether or not to go through with a planned trip to Mexico City next month. We booked our flights to Mexico City in December but recently found out last month that my wife is pregnant. When we went in for the first doctor's appointment her doctor warned us of the risks of Zika and said that while it's our choice whether or not to go, she would strongly discourage it because there have been confirmed Zika cases in Mexico.

I've spent quite a bit of time since then researching Zika and the range of the aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the virus and from everything that I've read, the mosquito (and consequently the Zika virus) has never been reported in Mexico City due it its high elevation. It looks like the majority of reported cases have come from the coastal regions in Southern Mexico and the Yucatan.

The CDC says that women who are pregnant should "consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing." We've been looking forward to this trip for some time and would be more than willing to drop it if it meant risking our baby, but I also don't want to cancel it if the risk of catching it is less than the risk of our plane crashing on the way there. We both just want to make an informed decision based on actual risks and not news headlines.

What would you do if you found yourself in this situation?
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Old Mar 3, 16, 12:32 pm
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I would do what you are doing: get some accurate information and make a decision.

unfortunately, the CDC isn't too helpful: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/...a-virus-mexico cause they don't say where it has been reported in mexico.

there is good information here[/URL]: http://www.journeymexico.com/blog/th...u-need-to-know
that includes links to self-interested but probably correct Mexican Tourism Board information.

In short, there are currently no reported cases in the State of Mexico, let alone Distrito Federale - not likely to be any unless it is from someone who returned from another area and carried the virus from that area.

I would let my wife go, pregnant or not, to Mexico City (of course, that is her hometown so I would have no way to keep from going anyway ). But, if she were pregnant, I would also make sure she uses 30% DEET repellent, wears clothes that are pre-treated with insect repellent, and then make sure she enjoys the food and drink!
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Old Dec 12, 16, 12:19 pm
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Hi Big4Flyer! Just wondering if you and your wife went through with your travel plans to Mexico City? If yes, would love to know how your wife is doing and if she had to undergo any invasive Zika testing upon your return. My husband and I are planning a trip to Mexico City for New Years. I'm of course very nervous about the possibilities...although mosquitos that carry the Zika virus are not able to survive altitudes higher than 6500ft. Thanks for your input!
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Old Dec 14, 16, 12:05 pm
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Mexico City and the environs - up to the mountains surrounding and down to ~6,500 feet - should be worry free for Zika. I'm in close contact with my family there, and there are no worrisome reports from the Federal District ("Mexico City") and immediate environs. Mexico City's elevation is 2,250 meters / 7,350 feet.

Aedes aegypti , A. albopictus etc. are the Zika virus transmitters. These are generally incapable of surviving and reproducing above 2,000 m / 6,500 ft. (The pass using 95D to Cuernavaca is about 3,048 m / 10,000 ft - that helps keep the mozzies down in the lowlands.)

See US CDC map and information here.

Now places at lower altitude such as Cuernavaca (1,522 m / 4,994 ft) I'd suggest taking precautions. Though Anopheles mosquitoes are not the ones that transmit Zika, dengue or chikungunya (they carry malaria), I do remember as a kid the CNEP (Comisión Nacional para la Eradicación del Paludismo) the sanitation squads came into our house biannually and sprayed insecticide to kill them.

CDC: Q. What data sources did you use to show that mosquitoes do not usually live above 6,500 feet?

Aedes species mosquitoes, the mosquitoes that carry Zika, live in areas with certain ecological conditions (temperature, rainfall patterns, local plant growth, and human population density). CDC used elevation data to predict areas where the Aedes mosquitoes are unlikely to live. Our findings show that Aedes mosquitoes are not usually found above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters).

Q. What do you recommend for pregnant women who decide to travel to high elevations in an area with Zika?

The risk of getting Zika from a mosquito at elevations above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) is minimal. However, traveling through an area of low elevation or stopping, even briefly, in a low elevation area on the way to higher elevation increases the risk of getting Zika from a mosquito, and pregnant woman should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites while in these areas. Pregnant women traveling to these areas should use condoms or not have sex with partners who may have traveled to lower elevations in an area with Zika. Pregnant women should also be alert to changes in their travel plans that may take them to elevations below 6,500 feet. Link
Do read the US CDC information about Zika (including precautions) in Mexico here.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is not medical advice, and should not be construed to be such.

Last edited by JDiver; Dec 14, 16 at 12:13 pm
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