Should You Worry About the Zika Virus on the Oregon Coast?
The Zika Virus has understandably been in the headlines recently. Global safety is a high priority for all.
Since this post was first published on February 13, 2016, mosquito borne transmission has occurred in Florida.
Even though the United States is aggressively pursuing solutions such as vaccine development and fighting the disease with genetically modified mosquitos to impact mosquito reproduction, it is likely that more areas will eventually find cases of mosquito borne transmission.
For instance, San Diego County officials are currently investigating a possible local transmission of the virus.
It's especially on the mind of travellers concerned about the Zika Virus and travel safety. With global issues such as the Zika Virus that could be particularly concerning to some, it's important to be prepared with the most current knowledge and base traveling decisions on facts from dependable sources.
When traveling to coastal areas, you'll first want to research the realities of the Zika Virus and the possibilities for infection.
While our beachfront Manzanita Oregon Vacation Rentals are in the Pacific Northwest, visitors are justifiably concerned about Zika in coastal areas.
Where Did Zika Come From?
In 1947 scientists investigating a Yellow Fever outbreak in Uganda identified the virus in rhesus monkeys living in the Zika forest. In 1948 the virus was discovered in the mosquito Aedes Africaneus. In 1952 the first human cases were discovered in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
In 2007 a major outbreak occurred on Yap Island, Micronesia. Since then, epidemics have occurred in Polynesia, Easter Island, The Cook Islands, and New Caledonia.
In April 2015 a much larger outbreak of Zika occurred in Brazil, and has spread outward. Sadly, Brazilian health authorities reported more than 3,500 microcephaly cases between October 2015 and January 2016.
Reliable Information Resources Regarding Zika Outbreaks
Where does one find reliable information with which to form reasonable travel decisions? While we're not experts in infectious diseases, we might suggest the following resources (NOTE: the CDC website is the resource regularly updated.):
Predicted Zika Outbreaks
To date, Oregon, and particularly the coastal area, are not in an area of a predicted Zika outbreak. Specifically, in our Oregon coastal area we don't have the type of mosquito that transmits the Zika Virus - the Aedes Aegypti.
We found the following map of expected Zika outbreaks in North and South America and the Caribbean to be extremely helpful. Particularly interesting are the Season Outbreaks (yellow) versus the Year-round Outbreaks (orange).
Published by the respected medical journal The Lancet, this version is from February, 2016, and does not reflect the outbreak in Florida. As always, you'll want to check for updates.
Predicted Outbreak: North / South Americas and Caribbean
The Lancet - Feb. 2016
Predicted Global Outbreak
sciences.com June 2015
Expected Zika US Zika Outbreak Regions as of August 2017
No Oregon Coast Outbreaks Predicted
Luckily, visitors to the Oregon Coast and our own Manzanita Beach area can rest easy - at this time there is not a forecasted Zika Outbreak, neither seasonally nor year-round.
If traveling to an area either with a current or predicted Zika outbreak, caution is strongly advised. Gather information from trusted resources. Visit your own physician if concerned or within a group where travel to Zika infected areas is not advised.
In February 2016 we travelled to a Zika infected area, and took all advised precautions. One suggestion we would highly recommend is traveling with your own supply of mosquito repellent as many of these areas sell out of these products.
In order to comply with airline requirements of traveling with liquids, we found taking pre-packaged mosquito repellant towelettes worked very well. And indeed, the liquid mosquito repellents sold out while were vacationing in the Zika infected area.
Zika Outbreak in Florida
As of early August, 2017, the only mosquito borne outbreak of the Zika virus on the United States mainland has occurred in Miami, Florida.
Puerto Rico has also experienced a Zike epidemic.
Travel to the Oregon Coast Without Concern About a Zika Outbreak
In conclusion, the Oregon Coast and our Manzanita Oregon coastline are not among the predicted Zika Outbreak areas. As we watch our world neighbors grapple with these troubling issues, we highly suggest travelers educate themselves before making vacation decisions. There's a lot of misinformation out there. Be sure to use trusted resources.
Since this latest virulent outbreak of Zika is fairly recent, new developments are being reported on an almost daily basis.
As mentioned, we ourselves recently vacationed in a Zika prone area. We learned as much as possible before making our decision, and took necessary precautions during our vacation.
We wish you safe an wonderful travels. Be sure to let us know if you have further questions regarding Zika and our Oregon Coast area.
Safe Travels Everyone ~
Thank you for reading our blog about life around our Manzanita area, and the Oregon Coast!
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