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Zika virus in Mexico

Zika virus in Mexico

Old Sep 6, 16, 11:31 pm
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Tulum & Zika Fall 2016

Hi, I was trying to find a master thread on Zika but can't seem to find any. I have read all of the CDC information, etc. I'm curious to hear from people who have been in Tulum/Yucatan very recently and/or are planning to be there this Fall. What are your thoughts about Zika?


We have a trip planned for Tulum in November and some in our group are concerned. Not just women who might get pregnant, but also concerns about possible side effects for all people. Anyone have any wisdom? How concerned are people in Tulum about this?

Last edited by JDiver; Sep 13, 16 at 8:47 am Reason: Restore original post title
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Old Sep 7, 16, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Hi, I was trying to find a master thread on Zika but can't seem to find any. I have read all of the CDC information, etc. I'm curious to hear from people who have been in Tulum/Yucatan very recently and/or are planning to be there this Fall. What are your thoughts about Zika?

We have a trip planned for Tulum in November and some in our group are concerned. Not just women who might get pregnant, but also concerns about possible side effects for all people. Anyone have any wisdom? How concerned are people in Tulum about this?
Zika is possible, given day biting Aedes mosquitos are common in the Quintana Roo area, but dengue is more likely (both day and night biters can transmit Zika virus). On open coast with breezes is best, entering forest near human habitation is worst - particularly if wearing dark clothing (my unthinking black tee shirt at Oxtankah forested archaeological site earned me a nasty case of dengue.

Dengue has more notable and painful symptoms than Zika, and is more common. Take mosquito precautions, read, be prepared. Take a set of long sleeve / long leg lightweight clothing impregnated with permethrin, which persists through several clothes washings, take an approved repellent for application on exposed areas. Confine bathing attire, tee shirts and shorts to beaches and areas with breezes, etc.

See

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/plan-for-travel.html

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/p...ito-bites.html

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/...a-virus-mexico

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html
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Old Sep 8, 16, 3:46 am
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Hi, I was trying to find a master thread on Zika but can't seem to find any. I have read all of the CDC information, etc. I'm curious to hear from people who have been in Tulum/Yucatan very recently and/or are planning to be there this Fall. What are your thoughts about Zika?


We have a trip planned for Tulum in November and some in our group are concerned. Not just women who might get pregnant, but also concerns about possible side effects for all people. Anyone have any wisdom? How concerned are people in Tulum about this?
You state that you've read all of the CDC info (by the way, what's the etc.?). This is perfect. Really, this is all you need and not the advice or the opinion of non-experts who may have gotten things wrong, or have just been to Yucatan. They will be missing all local info (I doubt that anyone of them will have visited the pertinent local medical/public health officers over there to get real information.

Just act according to what the CDC says and advises, these people are the ones who can give you the best advice! And take that from a medic who's been working with vector-borne diseases for more than a quarter of a century.
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Old Sep 8, 16, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
You state that you've read all of the CDC info (by the way, what's the etc.?). This is perfect. Really, this is all you need and not the advice or the opinion of non-experts who may have gotten things wrong, or have just been to Yucatan. They will be missing all local info (I doubt that anyone of them will have visited the pertinent local medical/public health officers over there to get real information.

Just act according to what the CDC says and advises, these people are the ones who can give you the best advice! And take that from a medic who's been working with vector-borne diseases for more than a quarter of a century.
Thanks. The etc. is the Mexican issued health advisory, as well as whatever news reports came up in the google search.
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Old Sep 8, 16, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Thanks. The etc. is the Mexican issued health advisory, as well as whatever news reports came up in the google search.
CDC is the Sterling currency. Local and some country health reports are often inadequate, missing or biased.

E.g. When Acapulco kept having cholera outbreaks because of the extremely poor sanitation disposal (dumping sewerage offshore via pipes), the government suppressed the information so tourism revenue would not be diminished.

You won't necessarily read much about dengue local medical reports in Quintana Roo. As Zika is relatively mild in most infected people and medical access is not very good, there's poor data collection anyway. Many local people could shrug off mild Zika symptoms and not seek treatment, others could see the local "curandero" or herb doctor.

I recently visited Sri Lanka. Not much official warning about dengue until I read the newspaper headlines in Colombo - there was a dengue outbreak, and the bulk of it was in the Colombo vicinity.With CDC information, I followed precautions and took some permethrin treated clothing and repellent.
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Old Sep 8, 16, 4:50 pm
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I had heard Zika was typically mild, until I came down with it. Mild relative to Dengue? You bet. However I was worthless for a good week with symptoms lasting about 2 1/2 weeks.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by brodielayne View Post
I had heard Zika was typically mild, until I came down with it. Mild relative to Dengue? You bet. However I was worthless for a good week with symptoms lasting about 2 1/2 weeks.
Ugh! It is quite variable in its effects - mild fever, etc. for some, what you experienced for others. (Touch wood, I've not knowingly had it, though over the years I have had chikungunya (1965) and dengue (~2005). And of course, farther reaching effects than were evident initially. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant, men who are sexually active are among those who really need to evaluatevtheirvtravel plans to areas with significant Zika virus activity. Again, the CDC website is a good one for the most current information.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Take mosquito precautions, read, be prepared.
The simple fact is that we all must do this, no matter where we go, in a potentially affected area, period (which will include a good portion of the USA before you know it). Knowing "I'm a guy, I won't get pregnant, and so-and-so had it and he just felt a bit crappy for a week" is a sorry excuse for not taking reasonable precautions because "just a small risk" of brain damage y/o Guillain-Barré is not worth it.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 10:42 am
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The risk of getting really sick for a couple of weeks or, much worse, Guillain-Barré, is my concern as a man who is not going to have children in the next year. I have a trip planned for vacation, and it seems like it will be great. But would I rather go someplace else if I have the option, is the question that I am asking myself. The focus in all of media & CDC materials is (understandably) on the major risk for a fetus. But for those of us just planning a winter vacation: More fun someplace like Hawaii this year?
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Old Sep 9, 16, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
The risk of getting really sick for a couple of weeks or, much worse, Guillain-Barré, is my concern as a man who is not going to have children in the next year. I have a trip planned for vacation, and it seems like it will be great. But would I rather go someplace else if I have the option, is the question that I am asking myself. The focus in all of media & CDC materials is (understandably) on the major risk for a fetus. But for those of us just planning a winter vacation: More fun someplace like Hawaii this year?
Things are only going to get worse (IMnshO). There may not be a "better time to visit the tropical part of Mexico" for years to come. Hawaii's isolation should likely keep it in good shape for some time.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 4:27 pm
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I've actually read that once a large amount of the population gets it, and then becomes immune, it will eventually start to go away. Not completely of course, but it won't be an epidemic. Part of the reason it's so bad right now is that nobody in the west has any immunity to it.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
I've actually read that once a large amount of the population gets it, and then becomes immune, it will eventually start to go away. Not completely of course, but it won't be an epidemic. Part of the reason it's so bad right now is that nobody in the west has any immunity to it.
This post shows the reason why I don't like this kind of discussions in FT! How many of FTers understand what "herd immunity" is, and how that affects an epidemic or the spread of any infectious disease? How many FTers understand the life-threatening risk of a dengue re-infection in Hawaii or elsewhere, especially in the cases of not noticed sub-clinical previous infections? How many FTers understand the actual meaning of populations versus individuals from a epidemiological point of view and why do some of "us" care more about "numbers" rather than the actual problems faced by infected people (before I'm misunderstood, to protect the immune populations)?

Thus, since it is hardly possible to repeat lessons on arboviroses here, one should stick to the CDC- or WHO-issued info and decide purely on that for himself/herself. By the way, I usually don't see discussions on award tickets in medical fora .

PS By the way, I spent my vacation in Panama, Costa Rica and the Yucatan!
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Old Sep 10, 16, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
This post shows the reason why I don't like this kind of discussions in FT! How many of FTers understand what "herd immunity" is, and how that affects an epidemic or the spread of any infectious disease? How many FTers understand the life-threatening risk of a dengue re-infection in Hawaii or elsewhere, especially in the cases of not noticed sub-clinical previous infections? How many FTers understand the actual meaning of populations versus individuals from a epidemiological point of view and why do some of "us" care more about "numbers" rather than the actual problems faced by infected people (before I'm misunderstood, to protect the immune populations)?

Thus, since it is hardly possible to repeat lessons on arboviroses here, one should stick to the CDC- or WHO-issued info and decide purely on that for himself/herself. By the way, I usually don't see discussions on award tickets in medical fora .

PS By the way, I spent my vacation in Panama, Costa Rica and the Yucatan!
Using this logic, we should not be discussing airplanes unless we are aerospace engineers.
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Old Sep 10, 16, 1:00 pm
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You can't get Zika.....or dengue....if you don't get bitten.
So where will you be?

For example:
I have never (in many trips) gotten bitten at the beach or at any of the beach clubs in Tulum. (breeze? spray?)
I have never gotten bitten in the pueblo on the main streets, at a restaurant, walking around, or at a festival on one of the back streets.
However, our posada in the pueblo has a central courtyard with lots of tropical foliage. Each room has a table and chairs out there, where we often eat breakfast, have a picnic lunch or snack, and read. I have certainly gotten bitten sitting there, even to the point of moving back inside. Never gotten dengue from any bites (same mosquito as carries Zika), just itchy, though.
So it depends on where you'd spend your time in Tulum IMO.
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Old Sep 10, 16, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Using this logic, we should not be discussing airplanes unless we are aerospace engineers.
Of course I did not say that. But asking for advice people who are not experts is certainly not the most efficient way to get it. Moreover, given the anonymity in this forum, you'd have no idea what anybody's ideas are worth. So, feel free to discuss anything you want. I just find it strange that people value anonymous advice over the internet more than advice from experts (i.e. CDC).
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