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Zika virus may change winter travel plans

courtesy of UB

A mosquito-borne virus has infected parts of South America and is now gaining attention in the United States.


The buzz word is Zika, a recently discovered and little understood virus carried by the same species of mosquito which carries diseases like Dengue and Yellow Fever. Warnings are being issued to travelers who may be considering vacations in places like Brazil where the virus has become prominent.

"If you're pregnant, you not go to these places," said UB's Doctor John Sellick.

"All I can tell you, practicing medicine for 30-plus years now, people do all kinds of stuff and yes people don't know they are pregnant."

Sellick says these issues are more difficult because of the spread of eco-tourism, visiting remote rain forests and zip-lining over the woods. He says the CDC is offering advice and suggesting where Zika is less likely although there are plenty of other viruses circulating. He suggests resorts which spray a lot and take lots of repellent along.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.