Friday, June 22, 2018 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

How to Avoid the Zika Virus While in Florida


The number of reported cases is still small. Smart travelers are just taking precautions rather than cancel the trip. Here are things to be careful about if traveling in an area affected by Zika virus.

  • Consider wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors. You can pull the socks over the paint legs to keep off the mosquito
  • Use EPA approved repellants. You can use CDC approved DEET-based insect repellants with a concentration of over 20 percent above the rest.
  • Apply your sunscreen first before applying the repellant on the skin for it to be effective. Most people do the opposite.


The health monitoring body is terming Florida as unprecedented. The problem is spreading fast and covering such a large area. Of course bringing fear on the way. There has been intense lobbying by the Florida state officials and industries for the Center for Disease Control to give the alert more favorable terms.


In Florida, tourism brings a whopping $67 billion to the economy. Like in many other countries, it is one of the largest industries in here. Around the world, it covers for at least ten percent of GDP and employs one in eleven workers. It takes care of around 93 economies around the globe.


Puerto Rico is another tourist destination that has been plagued by Zika. The Pan American Health Organization has listed at least 40 territories and countries that have had confirmed transmission of the Zika virus from local mosquitoes since January last year.


The effects of the CDC alert in Florida are likely to be devastating especially to the economics of the region. In addition to the general tourism, there will be a severe financial hit from the cancellation of large meetings and conventions, sporting activities and business travel. Puerto Rico severed the same fate with the baseball league cancelled as well as several large conventions and meetings, a loss that will not be covered in the near future.


With Florida relying on tourism for most of its GDP, officials are lobbying hard to have the alert lifted to save face from the likely devastating high winter trips cancellation. This is likely to be the case if the alert continues for several weeks. The alerts are pointed to a small area around Miami. However, it is likely to paint a rather bad picture of the whole region, as the travellers will be skeptical of the whole area. The alert in Miami could affect business in Orlando.



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