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CDC issues Zika virus travel notice for Cuba
BY JESSICA PLAUTZ

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has added Cuba to its list of
countries and territories where Zika virus is spreading after a local
case was confirmed.

The first case of local transmission of Zika virus in the country was
confirmed Tuesday: State media reported a 21-year-old Havana woman who
had not traveled outside of Cuba was diagnosed after suffering symptoms
of Zika, NBC News reported.

Cuba was one of a handful of countries that had previously only reported
cases contracted while traveling abroad.

SEE ALSO: Entering the Cuban time machine: An American visits the
once-forbidden country

The CDC advises that pregnant women should postpone trips to countries
with active Zika virus transmission, and that women planning to become
pregnant should speak to their doctor before the trip. Sexual
transmission of Zika virus has increasingly been reported, and CDC has
also said men who travel to countries affected by Zika should use
protection if having sex with a partner who is or may become pregnant.

Cuba’s addition to CDC’s list of travel notices comes as President Obama
has lifted many of the restrictions on Americans wishing to travel there.

While tourism is still banned — and will be until Congress acts — the
barriers to entry are falling rapidly. U.S. airlines are planning to
offer commercial flights by the fall. Americans need only fill out a
form that says their trip is for educational purposes, and not tourism.

SEE ALSO: Risk of a U.S. Zika virus outbreak may be highest in southern
Texas and South Florida

In a recent survey by TripAdvisor, 62% of U.S. respondents said they
were interested in booking a trip to Cuba, and 25% said they plan to
take a trip in the next 12 months.

Eleven percent said they are more interested in booking a trip knowing
President Obama is visiting the country March 20-22.

Prior to the confirmed local case, Cuba had already assigned resources
to combating Zika: More than 9,000 soldiers, police and university
students are part of an effort to eliminate mosquitoes through
fumigation and reducing standing water.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for spreading Zika virus.

Source: CDC issues Zika virus travel notice for Cuba –
mashable.com/2016/03/19/zika-virus-confirmed-in-cuba/#ElTqHbSZiaqQ

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