Worried About Zika Virus? Beware These 30 Travel Hot Spots

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The federal government now has issued travel alerts for 30 nations and territories because of the Zika virus.

The mosquito-borne virus poses a double threat to many of these countries and islands, as they are travel hot spots whose economies depend on tourism, CNN Money reports.

For example, tourism is a large part of GDP in Barbados (37 percent), the U.S. Virgin Islands (30 percent) and Jamaica (28 percent).

These three tropical island destinations are also among the 30 for which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued alerts, meaning travelers to such regions should take extra precautions.

The CDC has three types of travel notices:

  • A watch (level 1 notice) means travelers should remember “to follow usual precautions for this destination” because the risk level for travelers to the destination is the “usual baseline risk or slightly above baseline.”
  • An alert (level 2 notice) means travelers should “follow enhanced precautions for this destination” because the risk level for travelers to the destination is “increased … in defined settings or associated with specific risk factors” and “certain high-risk populations may wish to delay travel to these destinations.”
  • A warning (level 3 notice) means that travelers should “avoid all non-essential travel to this destination” because the risk level for travelers to the destination is “high.”

The 30 destinations for which the CDC has issued travel alerts due to the Zika virus are spread across several regions:


  • Cape Verde (an island nation)

Caribbean islands

  • Barbados
  • Curaçao
  • Dominican Republic
  • Guadeloupe
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Martin
  • U.S. Virgin Islands (include St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas)

Central America

  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama

North America

  • Mexico

Pacific islands

  • American Samoa
  • Samoa
  • Tonga

South America

  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela

The CDC had not issued any travel warnings, the agency’s third and highest travel notice, due to the virus as of Thursday. But the CDC warns on its Web page devoted to the virus:

Zika virus will continue to spread and it will be difficult to determine how the virus will spread over time.

To learn more about it, check out “Before You Travel: What to Know About Protecting Yourself From Zika Virus.”

Would you change travel plans because of notices issued about the Zika virus by agencies like the CDC? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

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