Is Zika Virus a Problem in Panama?
Constantly bombarded by epidemic headlined news about Zika and how this “outbreak” is becoming a global problem you are probably worried about travelling to Latin America. Whether or not you’ve followed the story of Zika or have already passed judgement on this issue leading to your decision not to travel abroad I would like to explore a few reasons as to why you should lower your concerns, travel the world, and ultimately experience the beauty of Latin America.
With a million and one things in the world that can harm you and your loved ones, Zika is by far not at the top of the list. Yes, Zika is a health concern and we’ll get to the real threats it presents shortly, but comparatively speaking, you are more likely to be affected by a car crash or even a coconut falling on your head than being affected by Zika. Well, I guess if you don’t live in the tropics then your coconut accident chances are greatly reduced, but you get my point.
If you’re thinking about travelling to Latin America, but having second thoughts because of Zika let’s take a look at the numbers:
Reported back in May of 2016 by Reuters, there were a total of 264 reported cases of Zika in the country of Panama
Whereas, there were 2,722 reported cases within the United States as of August 31, 2016
In Panama, the numbers are dropping, especially as the rainy season comes to its apex in which unperturbed standing water is less common. Though this may seem like an oxymoron, here in Panama, the constant showers ensure the constant movement of waters so mosquitoes are less likely to affect you.
This leads to the next point; how is Zika spread? The primary form of transmission is by mosquito bite with only a handful of cases in which the disease was sexually transmitted. So, in order to not get Zika, don’t get bit by this very special type of mosquito. Well, in fact you are more likely to encounter this mosquito in the US gulf states such as Texas or Florida than you are in Panama at least according to the New York Times research.
Don’t let the scare tactics of the media ultimately affect your decision to travel and limit your experiences. Let’s say, you pull that unlucky lottery ticket and contract Zika whether at home or here in Latin America, symptoms tend to be fairly mild and last only a week. It has been compared most frequently with that of a bad flu. Life threatening, don’t think so.
Check out these 5 things you should be more worried about than Zika when coming to Panama: 5 things to be more worried about while in Panama