Despite the World Health Organization declaring the mosquito-borne Zika virus a public health emergency, Mexican Health Ministry officials are reassuring tourists to continue visiting the country.
The Mexican Health Ministry is trying to persuade people that the virus is nowhere near places associated with tourism, according to Reuters. At the moment, there are 34 confirmed cases of the virus in Mexico, while last week there were only 18 cases.
Though the Mexican Health Ministry is claiming tourism should not be affected by the spread of Zika, senior ministry official Alberto Diaz admitted that eventually the virus would spread, according to Reuters.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a webpage dedicated to explaining the risks of Zika to travelers going to Mexico, and declared the country as being on a Level 2 Alert — the second highest alert level the organization uses. According to the CDC, a Level 2 Alert means travelers should “Practice Enhanced Precautions.”
In Brazil, there has been a large uptick in birth defects among pregnant women infected with the Zika virus, according to NPR. The most worrisome birth defect is microcephaly, which prevents normal skull growth and brain development, and leads to lifelong disabilities.
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