Okay, I realize this is a financial blog, but I couldn’t help it. We have planned to travel to Puerto Rico this summer for Mr. WRI’s nephew wedding. On the back of our minds, Puerto Rico might be the place that we could spend 3 months of winter in our early years of retirement and continue to reinvest extra income in our taxable account. We spent $3500 last year on our Puerto Rico trip and we enjoyed it very much. This year, I planned to use points and miles to get us a free trip to Puerto Rico.
With the recent developments on Zika, we are pretty nervous about traveling to Puerto Rico. I can see our free trip comes with more risk than we can tolerate. Zika is now confirmed to cause birth defect microcephaly and a wide range of neurological birth defects. In adult, it might cause an autoimmune disorder that is similar to multiple sclerosis. It’d require either one of us in the workplace to get good insurance for the severe condition.
Health officials have previously expressed concern about Zika’s association with a different neurological condition known as Guillain-Barré syndrome, in which the immune system attacks the nerves and can start as weakness or tingling and can lead to paralysis.
What’s in the news?
- Puerto Rico, Virgin Island, and Samoa are the three US territory that will serve as the gateway for the Zika virus to travel to the mainland US.
- There are 350 confirmed cases of Zika in the United States
- Some experts are predicting hundred of thousands people will be infected of Zika in 2016 alone and it will widely affect the South even North of US, especially during summer time and in swampy area.
- There is no period during the pregnancy that is safe from Zika.
- There is no vaccine this year. If we do have a vaccine, it would have to be tested to make sure the inactivated virus won’t travel to the brain and cause similar damage just like the active virus.
- Experts are saying the US are not prepare for the Zika outbreak.
- It’s unrealistic to tell the whole island of Puerto Rico to stop having kids.
Here are some random facts about the mosquitoes that carry the virus:
- Only the female mosquitoes do the biting
- The mosquitoes that look like a black and white tiger are the ones that carry the disease. They are called Tiger Mosquitoes or Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
- CDC: Dallas Man Spread Zika to Male Partner
- Mosquitoes are getting more and more resistant to pesticides.
- Mosquitoes blood DNA revieals mosquitoes likes to bite indoor people and larger in size. So be outdoor more often, and get skinny fast if you want to decrease your odds of not getting bitten. 😛
Here is a picture of a Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
Well anything that looks like a tiger or have the name tiger attach to it sounds dangerous. They could have called it zebra mosquitoes.
We are seriously considering canceling our trip to Puerto Rico. We try not to let the Zika thing to spoil the fun, but we know so little about the virus, and the damage is severe. I wonder what happen to the people who have low immune system – cancer patients, diabetic, people who are on chronic steroids, chronic disorder IBS, etc.
What do you think? Are you going to the Caribbean this year?