Anybody going to the Caribbean this year? Worried about Zika?

(14 Posts)
fakenamefornow Sat 05-Mar-16 11:29:32

Are you worried at all about Zika virus? I'm not planning to get pregnant, impossible anyway, but I do have two school age girls and worry just a little about long term effects. Very little seems to be known about this virus.

cathcustardtart Sat 05-Mar-16 15:43:57

I'm going twice blush.
I'm really not worried about Zika, Dengue is more common. I'm very sensible about bite prevention.

mummymeister Sat 05-Mar-16 17:16:52

tbh if I was of child bearing age I just wouldn't go. however careful you are, you will be bitten. these mossies bite during the day as well not just in the evening/morning. there is so much that they don't know about things like long term residual effects that I wouldn't risk it.

I am not generally that risk averse and have travelled widely but here you are talking about possibly passing it on to a baby with lifelong health implications.

I am not even certain that they really know the long term effects in adults. whilst dengue is more common it doesn't transmit to babies and it is a much more known and understood disease.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 05-Mar-16 17:26:42

Could the girls be carriers if bitten, affecting any future pregnancies? I don't know enough about it really but my friend has just put her dd off going, just too risky when there are other countries to visit.

MedSchoolRat Sat 05-Mar-16 17:54:51

The girls cannot become 'carriers'.... at least if they did, that would be very scientifically bizarre and never before recorded. As much as we can know anything about any virus, Zika immunity appears to last for life (like most viruses). There's a period of about 1 week of infection, when people might be able to give it back to mozzies to take to someone else, and that would be the only window of opportunity to impact a pregnancy, too. Only some mozzies can carry it. Most people with Zika never know it, no symptoms & no long term impacts. Zika isn't a Super virus (honest).

There is only one type of Zika & you're done. Assuming you noticed having it at all. Dengue is much worse because there are 3 types, and each bout of dengue hits you harder than the last. Repeat Dengue can easily mean permanent disability.

Touristy places can be so heavily sprayed that mozzies have little chance, anyway.

Most viruses can have very rare awful side effects. Even the common cold can lead to rare neurological problems.

cathcustardtart Sat 05-Mar-16 18:03:41

travelhealthpro.org.uk/zika-virus-update-and-advice-for-travellers-including-pregnant-women/

This is useful & up to date.

fakenamefornow Sat 05-Mar-16 22:05:19

Medschoolrat that's just what I was hoping to hear! Thank you, you've really put my mind at rest.

fakenamefornow Sat 05-Mar-16 22:05:50

And everybody else, thank you for responding.

mummymeister Sat 05-Mar-16 22:39:21

medschoolrat - just a note of caution here. isn't this what people thought ebola?

MedSchoolRat Sun 06-Mar-16 11:53:56

I'm not sure precisely what MM is asking & I can turn into a complete anorak on the subject of Ebola transmission. I don't think they should be compared at all, other than as sociological phenomena of the 2010s.

There are lots of reasons why Zika is extremely unlikely to ever be discovered to be a disease like HIV, tuberculosis or typhus, where someone can be infectious to others for yrs & yrs. Even Ebola doesn't lurk like HIV or Tb can.

Zika is milder than a common cold & doesn't slam the entire body like Ebola does. There are dozens of other reasons why they are very different in long term impacts.

fakenamefornow Sun 06-Mar-16 12:00:45

From what I've been following in the news you have largely confirmed what I thought medschool My only little worry was possible long term consequences for the girls, I'm very glad that you have just about put those to bed for me as I couldn't find any reference to this anywhere.

MedSchoolRat Sun 06-Mar-16 13:38:04

Glad to help hoping I haven't posted something that turns out to be very wrong

It's really hard in an informal discussion board like this to say anything confidently & clearly... Zika is not well studied like some viruses (eg common cold) so maybe it will hugely surprise us, MM is right to ask.

But if you want to make a decision on the strong balance of evidence, Zika doesn't pose the risks OP wondered about.

Tourism is down all over Africa, after Ebola was in just some places. That means economic damage on top of social/health harm from Ebola, and hurts places like Kenya that never had any Ebola. So it is good if tourists still go to Caribbean, if they know their personal risk is negligible or zero. As much as we can ever decide that any choice is low risk.

Enjoy your hols!

expatinscotland Sun 06-Mar-16 13:40:05

Yes. I'm 45 and past childbearing, though. DD2 is coming with. She's 10. More worried about Dengue fever indeed. There are several strains of dengue, and you only get lifelong immunity to the one you contract if you get it, short term for the others, and getting it more than once puts you at greater risk of complications, like dengue haemorrhagic fever.

mummymeister Sun 06-Mar-16 16:08:35

medschoolrat at the risk of hijacking the thread. I am old. let me tell you a few things I have heard over the years:

1. its only blue sprayed asbestos that cause the problem. eh no its fibre morphology hence now the problem with talc.

2. BSE is no threat to human health here eat a beefburger son. eh no. it is.

3. mixy in rabbits just to control the population. it wont hang around. eh yes it has.

4. you can use that pesticide to spray for wasps, perfectly safe. eh no. its now banned as are several others I used in my youth.

5. DDT the wonder pesticide. Now banned.

6. stop using petrol, diesel is so much better for your health and the environment. No it isn't PM10's are a big issue.

I could go on and on about the number of times in my 50+ years I have heard that something is perfectly safe and then found not to be.

so apologies if I appear either super cautious or a bit stupid.

there is a reason why virus's have been around longer than us and why they would survive even the harshest conditions.

I wont be taking teenagers to anywhere with Zika until they have a clear idea of long term spread/damage.

the reason there are so many positive stories because as others have said having an infectious disease kills your tourism. oh and look, the Olympics are on in Rio this year.

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