My question revolves around the rise of the Zika virus in South America and the Caribbean. In March, my wife and I are travelling to a friends wedding in the Dominican Republic, and I'm concerned with the potential of catching the virus. Are my concerns just paranoia, or is there a realistic chance, and is there any travel advisories I should be on the look out for?
Right now the Canadian travel advisory warns of the Zika virus in the Dominican Republic, as does the UK. They're recommending "special precaution", which isn't the highest alertness level, but enough to be taken into consideration, here's what they say (emphasis mine)
It is recommended that pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant discuss their travel plans with their health care provider to assess their risk and consider postponing travel to areas where the Zika virus is circulating in the Americas. If travel cannot be postponed then strict mosquito bite prevention measures should be followed to protect themselves against bites.
The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that all travellers protect themselves from mosquito bites when travelling to areas where Zika virus is circulating. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against Zika virus infection.
I wouldn't go if I was female and planning on having a baby, ever
Until more information is known, I would not go.
Here is the current CDC advisory for the DR. It does not list Zika. Zika is there though.
Here is the current CDC advisory for the Caribbean which DOES list Zika.
Here is the CDC Zika Website.
If you are a female and plan on having children sometime in the future, you should not go. It's that simple. There is no cure for Zika.
Zika prevention sounds like this.
Abstain from sex
Avoid bug bites
Use insect repellent
These are all things, other insect repellent, that most people cannot achieve. If your friend won't cancel the wedding in this zone then maybe they should pay the price of having an empty wedding. Asking friends to endure risk for the pleasure of attendance is a low risk/reward for attendees.
Do not go unless you are past childbearing age and are willing to endure the risk. IMO. Sorry for any fervency.
I can say that the risk of Zika is everywhere but since I am Dominican and I have family back in the island I can tell you that, I haven't heard of any one with the case is Zika. So, I would say go and enjoy and buy repellent. I actually buy this one for my clothing.