Will The CDCs Zika Travel Warning Change Your Travel Plans?

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    Update: Reuters is reporting that United is now allowing full refunds or postponements of trips booked to regions affected by Zika.
    Commenter “CLE rocks” also shares that Frontier refunded his Cleveland-Cancun ticket after he sent in a note from a Doctor that his pregnant wife should not travel to Cancun.

    Have you been able to get a refund for your travel?


    Originally posted on 1/21:

    Zika is a terrifying disease that made its way from the depths of Africa to Brazil, likely around the time of the World Cup that was hosted there. It’s spread via mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

    Since then over 1,000,000 Brazilians have become infected and nearly 4,000 babies have been born with microcephaly, causing death or an abnormally small head and brain size for the infant along with developmental issues.

    Countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Jamaica are telling local women not to even get pregnant due to the Zika outbreak.

    More than a dozen pregnant US women who traveled to affected locations have tested positive for Zika and a baby was born in Hawaii with microcephaly after the mother contracted Zika in Brazil. However nobody has been infected with Zika in the 50 US states yet, local cases have all been women who have traveled other places.

    Last Friday the CDC warned pregnant women to postpone travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing and that women trying to become pregnant should talk to their doctor about going, and if they do go, to take strict precaution to avoid mosquito bites.

    The CDC says that Zika does not pose a risk of birth defects for future pregnancies. Zika usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days to a week and virus will not cause infections in a baby that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood.

    According to the CDC, Zika has been transmitted by mosquitoes in the following locations:
    Cape Verde
    El Salvador
    French Guiana
    Puerto Rico
    S. Martin

    Other countries in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America are likely affected as well.

    Of course the big question is will Zika spreading mosquitoes find their way to friendly climates like Florida or Hawaii soon?

    Will Zika affect your travel plans? Were you planning to travel to Puerto Rico or Mexico and are now having second thoughts?

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    112 Comments On "Will The CDCs Zika Travel Warning Change Your Travel Plans?"

    All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

    Andrew L

    Canceled my family trip to PR next week. Going to Florida instead.


    I was planning on going back to honduras this fall with my family but we are planning to have another child, that trip just got cancelled because of Zika.


    Absolutely! I was planning on traveling to Mexico next week and I am 24 weeks pregnant with my first child. There is no way I am taking a chance with my child’s health to enjoy one week in the sun.


    I know a big group of people that canceled a trip to Mexico because of this


    My wife’s having after reading this!!! Thanks


    I am going to Mexico in a couple weeks and it wont change my plans. I am bring my 3 year old twins as well. I will bring plenty of repellent. Had I been pregnant or trying to get pregnant, I would have had to really think about it. I always get bit like crazy by mosquitos even when others dont.


    Scheduled to fly to Puerto Rico Saturday night … defiantly having second thoughts… really scary.. Thinking of using the Snow storm as an opportunity to cancel my flight at no charge and reschedule for Florida or somewhere not in the CDC warning…


    I canceled my trip to Cancun ! 🙁 Im having a very hard time getting my full points back from SPG and my money from american airlines tickets! any suggestions??


    can this virus affect future pregnancies? or it only affects you if you are currently pregnant?


    What exactly is the point of this post if I may ask? To make people nervous?


    It has spread to Florida already. Cases found there and Illinois .


    Great. Another disease for doctors to cure and force our kids to take vaccines.

    Vaccines kill.


    Check the cdc website. There were four cases reported in Florida . So all those changing your plans to Florida watch out


    I’d suggest talking to a doctor.

    A. Not everyone is aware.
    B. Interesting to see if people are going anyway or cancelling.

    Does having a permanently disabled child does sound preferable to you?

    @D: @Daniella:
    Those were people that caught it when traveling in the Caribbean, not local transmissions.

    Siyata D'Shmaya



    FYI while the CDC announced certain countries where transmission is already known to be ongoing, it seems fair to cautiously assume it might have already spread, or spread in the future, to other areas where the Aedes variety of mosquito, which carries the disease, is present. The maps at this link show parts of the US that are included: http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/pdfs/CHIKV_VectorControl.pdf – it includes a huge swath of the southeastern US (including Florida), along with a bit of Arizona and a couple of spots in CA.

    So…anyone have suggestions for somewhere nice to go in March that’s not Caribbean/CA/SA/the above parts of the US? Let’s say somewhere within 6 hours flight of NYC, for argument’s sake.

    Mordechai Perlman

    Does anyone know how to contact Dan himself?


    Anyone know if Tahitti and French plolynsiya are affected as well?


    To inform ppl of it who don’t follow CDC warnings.

    Ma Laasot

    There goes our February babymoon in Jamaica using our free nights from the Hyatt card… Now we are back to the drawing board. Can anyone recommend a Hyatt somewhere warm that’s worthwhile for 4 nights?


    I had no idea!


    @Dan: You choose permanently disabled child or death.

    I think the vaccine choice is obvious.

    Wake up people. Doctors are all lying to you about vaccines.



    There a dedicated thread for you on DDF


    @Dan: “Those were people that caught it when traveling in the Caribbean, not local transmissions.”
    So It’s not contagious locally?


    @Anonymous: It is people like you who put my young child who is still in the process of getting all his vaccines at risk. If he ever caught anything from an unvaccinated child I would use my considerable resources to bring legal and financial ruin to that parent.


    @Siyata D’Shmaya:
    Siyata D’Shmaya doesn’t mean not avoiding danger.

    I haven’t seen warnings for that.

    @Ma Laasot:


    It’s not being spread in the US by mosquitoes. Yet.


    I’m assuming it will be contained by then, but the summer Olympics are in Brazil later this year. Interesting too see what would happen if it wasn’t under control by then.


    You mention pregnant or breastfeeding but I can’t find anything about breastfeeding affecting the child on CDC site. Does anyone know if breastfeeding mom’s should be careful?


    @Dan then the one case in Puerto Rico doesn’t count either because according to the cdc (spoke to them yesterday in the phone) it was also from traveling .


    Anything on Bahamas?


    From the CDC:
    “Zika virus infection does not pose a risk of birth defects for future pregnancies. Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for only a few days to a week. The virus will not cause infections in a baby that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood.”

    I wouldn’t count on it being under control by then.

    I wrote that breastfeeding women should talk to their doctor before traveling. Simple precautions like DEET are always a good idea.

    At any rate, ?I’ve deleted that now as it was confusing.

    The CDC site says that Puerto Rico had a local transmission, but I didn’t speak to the CDC about it.

    Not that I’ve seen yet.


    anybody speak to CDC about Cancun? I know Mexico is listed as a country that has had ZIKA reports, but seems to be minimal and local

    travel agent

    Thanks for posting this,

    i booked for a few of my friends vacations in Cancun last week, when the CDC came out with warning i called them if they are pregnant and to check with there doctors if there is an issue to stay there, they didn’t believe me, but when they called their doctors they told them to come home fast…

    i called a few heimisha news papers to post a warning, and they had no idea about this issue


    As per the Washington Post: “Several state health departments have reported confirmed cases in recent days. These include: Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas.”



    Why don’t you read the following paragraph?

    “Health officials said there is no risk to the public because all the cases so far have been in returning travelers who were likely infected by mosquitos abroad rather than by mosquitos in the U.S. mainland.”

    CLE rocks

    I had a trip booked from cle-cancun on frontier and cancelled it because my wife is pregnant. At first frontier was not winning to refund me unless I was assuming to pay $99.00 cancellation fee.I had my wife’s doctor fax a note to frontier and only then dif they give me a refund


    @CLE rocks:


    Any ideas on how to cancel a non refundable hotel stay, due to flight cancellation and/or Zika scare?


    Most hotels will be willing to cancel a stay when a flight was cancelled.

    As far as for Zika, see comment 36.


    This is pretty scary, given how quickly this is spreading.
    The only reason the northern states are OK now is because it’s winter and there are no mosquitos here now.
    I’m sure this summer we’ll see locally transmitted cases in NY.
    Same thing happened with West Nile virus some years ago, and now we just live with it.
    Extensive air travel has made transmission of diseases like this much more global than it used to be.


    @Anonymous: I can’t tell if you’re trolling or actually just stupid


    @Anonymous: You’re part of the problem. There’s ZERO evidence that vaccines are harmful and LOTS that not getting vaccinated can be deadly.


    @SYM: ZERO evidence? Ever heard of VAERS?? Estimates are that between 90-99% of incidents aren’t even reported. I don’t think it’s an open and shut argument. But parents should be allowed to do what they want because there is good evidence for concerns on both sides. Such statements as “ZERO evidence” or “100% safe” are absolute lies or ignorance.


    Any non-pregnant families canceling trips?


    Traveling to Colombia in 9 days, however, as a male, I’m more concerned with Dengue and chikungunya


    @CLE rocks: Did you have insurance on your tickets?


    Doctor’s orders work for refunds without insurance.


    Dan, you should make an update to this post saying “I am not a doctor.”

    (Unless you are actually a doctor)



    I just got back from south of brazil where there’s minimal cases back in Dec for 17 days. I got bit a lot but wife didnt. She’s not pregnant but we might try later this year. I cant seem to google this, but when you get infected, can you get pregnant safely later on or this applies for the rest of your life? if not, how long does this last/stay in your system?


    From the post,
    “The CDC says that Zika does not pose a risk of birth defects for future pregnancies. Zika usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days to a week and virus will not cause infections in a baby that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood.”



    Thank you sir!


    Since I am done with that phase in my life, perhaps I should make plans TO travel to one of these countries. It may be a good time to find some good deals as other people cancel or go somewhere else.


    @Dan: Thanks so much. I will cancel my vacation to mexico.


    Anyone know if a general travel insurance policy will reimburse for cancellation of a trip if the CDC declares a country unsafe even for non-pregnant individuals? Or would you have to claim a refund from the airline and hotel directly?


    It would work only if if were unsafe for everyone.
    Otherwise you need a doctor’s note that you can’t travel, and that works even without insurance.


    Just cancelled a trip to panama because of this.


    Just canceled my trip to the W Vieques , because Puerto Rico is on the list with a local transmutation. Will be heading to Florida instead.


    @Tim: JetBlue gave me no trouble based on the Virus they were just updated today to allow cancellations


    Planned to go to W Vieques and since wife Is pregnant Dr said absolutely not! JetBlue let me cancel no charges as of today. I got full credit in my JetBlue bank, i got my SPG points back. Now we will be going to South beach possibly Royal Palm.


    cancelled a trip to St. Martin, Orbitz gave me hell but went around them…called hotel directly, they notated my reservation number that they would refund partial and had orbitz call them and they processed it. still waiting on Delta to either give me refund less $200 per ticket or voucher to fly within the next year…


    If you get Doctor’s orders not to travel there then Delta should give you a full refund.


    @Dan tried that but orbitz has to facilitate the cancellation because they are my “travel agents” not fun but if they don’t do the right thing i might take to twitter 🙂

    sarena kopciel

    ICELAND @Blake:

    sarena kopciel

    DEET is totally not safe for babies or young children as per recs @Dan:

    sarena kopciel

    Zika is related to Dengue


    Does anyone think im crazy for not wanting to go to cancun even though my wife isn’t pregnant?


    Any way to reach Expedia or chat with them ?
    On hold for over 2hr to cancel my flight..
    Booked Jet Blue flight through Expedia, JB says only Expedia can refund the flight.


    where can i see a list of infected places? i wanted to know if bahamas is infected


    I just got back from Cancun today and I’m pregnant….. Should I be worried?


    i had a trip booked next week to Cancun, my Dr called me up Tuesday that i shouldn’t fly, i cancelled my hotel (Nizuc) with no penalties as i sent in a Dr’s note, i have insurance on my flight so i can get refunded but waiting to see if flight Sunday morning gets canceled anyway


    does it mean the entire country of Brazil?
    is there a more specific map ?

    Thanks a bunch!!


    @Ma Laasot:

    If you have free night certificates forget the warm weather and stay at the park hyatt beavercreek. Wonderful use of the free nights and you won’t regret it.


    @Anonymous: No, a–holes who don’t vaccinate their kids kill people. You are killing other people’s babies with your conspiracy nonsense. Many babies are too sick to get vaccines and must rely on herd immunity, but dipshits like you don’t vaccinate their kids and those sick babies die of basic illnesses like influenza and whooping cough. Congrats murderer.


    Is the Dominican Republic okay to go?


    What’s the consensus about travel to florida . is 3 cases enough to worry about local transmission?


    Where do you see that they caught Zika in Florida?


    @Dan:http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article55538970.html look at the message from the florida health dept


    Again, where do you see that they caught Zika in Florida?
    Those were tourists who got it in South America.


    @wondering: @wondering:

    I’ve been looking for an answer to the same question since the pandemic began and have not seen a response, let alone an acceptable one.

    Your question is a very valid one. Please let us know if you find out.


    From the CDC:
    “Zika virus infection does not pose a risk of birth defects for future pregnancies. Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for only a few days to a week. The virus will not cause infections in a baby that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood.”


    @Dan: thank you for your reply so I will clarify my question. Miami is a tourist city that has the mosquito which can transfer the virus if they bite an infected person. Is it worth the possibility of infection through tourists to mosquito to person in Miami, or are the chances so slim that any mosquitoes there have gotten it? Currently there are dengue and chikingua viruses being spread by mosquitoes there.Apparently the CDC has not mentioned it in their warnings, but should a cautious mother change her plans to avoid any chance.


    Going to st thomas today, 19 weels pregnant. Dr said ok. Will use repellent


    Costa Rica?

    Just Saw This

    United announced that they are refunding tickets to Zika affected areas.

    Jeff M

    @dan Please let keep us posted if American Airlines does the same!!


    @Jeff M:
    Did you try calling them?

    Jeff M

    @dan i just called. i was asked to send proof that person i was traveling with is pregnant. might work! thanks dan!


    @Jeff M:
    Let us know.


    Experts in the spreading of disease think Florida will be next based on other similar diseases in how they spread


    Is there any risk going to the affected area if you are not pregnant?



    That is a very good question and it is an unknown. The CDC reports information that it feels would help mitigate the highest risk population in the near future. Since this is a virus that doesn’t have a vaccine then most people that get bit by an infected mosquito will have some kind of effect. Just like the influenza virus is very dangerous to very young children and elderly people, the Zika virus’ full spectrum of effects to the population is being investigated.


    I called BA on the 22nd to cancel flight bec of zika. I said I had a doctors note etc. The rep had no idea what I was talking about.

    She canceled the ticket, but didnt refund the taxes. ($30 x 2)

    I called back today after seeing this post.

    Rep said they have a policy in place for the zika virus. Customers can reschedule their flights at no charge. The policy is effective as of the 23rd.

    After some back and forth, I got my taxes refunded even though I had already canceled on the 22nd (A day before the policy was issued).

    Thank you Dan for posting.


    ETA: I was booked to CUN.


    A lot of you are amazing. The questions I am reading which is directed at Dan is mind boggling. If you are thinking of getting pregnant or are pregnant why the heck you posing medical questions here. Pick up the damn phone and call your doctor!


    @marky you kidding right? Asking Dan when you should be picking up the phone and calling your doctor.

    David Holbrook

    @DansDeals Just spoke with AA Ex Plat Line. They will refund with note of pregnancy from Doctor. You apply through: https://prefunds.aa.com/refunds/


    @ma lasasot
    Shev babayit
    Tochal tapuach
    Simple, no?


    Just booked my MBJ trip. Hopefully it will be less crowded with another overblown the world is going to end health scare.


    Thanks for posting this information. Definitely not “overblown” for pregnant or possibly getting pregnant women and doesn’t affect my trip plans but I absolutely want to know and make an informed decision. My family wanted to disown or quarantine me after I traveled to Senegal during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa but I had to inform myself with accurate information about where the outbreak was (elsewhere) and decide. And I did not cancel my trip to Japan shortly after the nuclear reactor meltdown, just changed my itinerary to avoid the area. Most places I travel have significant risks. Accurate information is important and in this case I would NEVER visit any of the affected areas if my wife were pregnant or planning to be in the near future, whether with me or not. Just not worth it.


    @Dan – if insurance wasn’t purchased at time of book can it still be purchased now and then applied to tickets? I have tickets to PR departing next week on Delta and would like to cancel them for a refund.


    Just get a Dr note. You don’t need insurance.


    Leaving for St Thomas on Friday. Doc said it’s ok as long as I use repellant.


    @David Holbrook:
    Hi David Holbrook,
    Do I need to be an Exec Platinum line member to receive the refund with Doctors note? Are there any other restrictions? We are are scheduled to Cancun.



    I called the Delta refund line and was refund the entire fare (only @223.60 thanks to the deal a couple months back) just by mentioning that I didn’t want to travel due to Zika. Entire call took 4 minutes and I have an email confirming the refund.


    BA is giving a heard time for S. Martin.

    They say its not on there list yet.


    If you plan on going to a place with local transmission you may need to use insect repellent 24/7 as the aedis aegypty mosquito hands around indoors and bites repeatedly as I have seen in Florida in an air conditioned home with closed windows ( I guess it got in when the door was opened)


    Hi! I would like to know if Rubio is a safe place to travel or it has the virus?

    Thank you



    I would like to know if traveling to Aruba is safe?



    I had a trip planned to st maarten booked Starting 1/25. Had no issue cancelling through united but Westin dawn beach is refusing to waive cancelation fee claiming they spray the island. Horrible customer service. Took 2 weeks for that response. Going through spg now. They should be able to make it right. Just be forewarned to avoid them st all costs!


    This is what I was referring tohttp://www.abcactionnews.com/news/grosse-pointe-farms-woman-may-be-michigans-first-zika-virus-case


    Spirit airline refuses to give me a refund for the flight I had on August 21. Booked it in July. Any ideas ? Flight was to Florida.