Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Mon July 11 2016

How Is Zika Affecting Business Travelers?

Business Travel | Janeen Christoff | July 11, 2016

How Is Zika Affecting Business Travelers?

Photo courtesy Thinkstock 

Zika is making headlines around the world. The virus is so worrying that Olympic athletes and television correspondents are refusing to travel to Zika-affected areas such as Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games, points out an article in USA Today.

However, the World Health Organization has not declared a general restriction on trips to Zika-affected areas but has acknowledged the virus as a worldwide health emergency, recommending that pregnant women avoid traveling to locations where there are outbreaks. 

What sort of effect has this had on business travelers or athletes traveling for competitions? 

“It’s a deep concern for travelers obviously, because any time you are in an area with poor sanitation or standing water, which is very common through Latin America, you’re potentially going to be subjected to this particular species of mosquito,’’ says Brian McNary, vice president of the global risk group at Pinkerton, a corporate risk management firm.

But business are not canceling or relocating business meetings away from areas where there is Zika. 

"Most travel managers I have spoken with say it's not a major issue,'' Kevin Mitchell of the Business Travel Coalition said to USA Today. “But they are being flexible and allowing employees to opt out of travel to the worst-hit areas if they are concerned.''

This could be because Zika, unlike H1N1 or SARS only affects a subset of the population — pregnant women, women who may become pregnant and their partners —  making it less alarming for individual travelers who are not part of this group.

Here are some tips for how to avoid contracting Zika.

For more information on Brazil

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