Pregnant woman concerned about visiting Cayman

| 22/11/2016

I would like to know if I should reschedule my trip to the Cayman Islands because of Zika virus. I will be six months pregnant when I travel there. We are staying at the Meridian. I’ve been told a lot of things can change by then. I was also told in February there aren’t many mosquitoes. Can you please give me any advice?

Auntie’s answer: As with a previous question about Zika (See Testing for the Zika virus), I approached the Public Health Department for clarification. Tim McLaughlin-Munroe, the public health surveillance officer, once again came through with a very comprehensive response.

Before getting into all the details, and while acknowledging that the Zika virus is present in Cayman along with the disease-carrying mosquito, he said he would never recommend anyone postpone their visit here. “We cannot guarantee 100% that anyone will not be bitten by a mosquito or that they will not contract Zika virus but we do know that your chances are minimal,” Mr McLaughlin-Munroe said.

For one thing, he explained, “the virus seems to be slowing down globally and that is indeed the same trend that is seen locally here in the Cayman Islands”.

He also noted the ongoing work of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit. “They have been doing a tremendous job in curtailing the spread of this disease. They are fogging, aerial spraying and actively walking the neighbourhoods inspecting and controlling mosquitoes,” he said.

Specific to your concerns, Mr McLaughlin-Munroe said that where you will be staying is a part of Grand Cayman that is covered by aerial spraying and other methods for mosquito control.

In addition, he pointed out that although Zika can affect the fetus at any stage of gestation, at six months pregnant you will have “passed the stage of concern for microcephaly”.


Category: Ask Auntie, Medical and Health

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The influence of the local tourist dollar cannot be understated. The safe thing is to skip the vacation this year. The islands will still be there next year.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I really think it is unfair for anyone to ask advice about something like this. This is a choice and decision everyone will need to make for themselves. Nobody should be attempting to judge how many mosquitos may be around a certain time of the year, especially assuming that as a tourist one will be likely to visiting different places on the Island.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The question is really if you are willing to take the risk for your unborn child. Public health is typically going to give you a wishy washy answer because they are a slave to government where your tourist dollar has more value than your child. In my humble opinion and straight up answer the risk is low, but it is still there.