The Zika virus continues to spread and is drastically affecting countries throughout Central and South America, as well as Mexico. At a press conference today, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that there is now a «public health emergency of international concern» over the clusters of microcephaly in Brazil and the suspected (although not scientifically proven) link to microcephaly and birth defects. It’s important to note that this is not a declaration for the actual Zika virus. WHO also stated that «there should be no restrictions on travel or trade with countries, areas and/or territories with Zika virus transmission.»
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The virus’s greatest potential threat is to pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant. Airlines and cruise lines are recognizing this threat. Some providers are offering refunds or waived cancelation fees for pre-booked travel. See below for a list of companies offering refunds related to Zika.
Editor’s Note: For up-to-date information, please check the CDC and WHO websites regularly, and directly contact airlines, hotels, cruise lines, and travel agents you have booked with if you are looking to rebook or get a refund or credit for pre-booked travel to the affected areas. We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.
- Lufthansa: Offering rebooking free of charge to medically certified pregnant women and companions to affected areas through March 31 when booked before January 28, as reported to NBC News.
- American: Offering refunds to pregnant women and companions to affected areas with note from doctor as per their website