In an effort to help travelers understand precisely
where in Mexico cases of the Zika virus have been found — and that they are not
in the country’s traditional resort areas — the Mexico Tourism Board on Friday
released a map indicating where Zika has been reported. (In mid-April the map was updated; click here for the most recent map).
For a PDF version of this map, click here.
“All of the resort areas are Zika-free … the Zika
problem is not throughout the country,” said Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, CEO of
Mexico’s Tourism Board.
Negrete noted that there are currently 65 reported
Zika cases in Mexico. Of those, 35 are in Chiapas, 21 in Oaxaca, four in Nueva
Leon, and one each in Jalisco, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Veracruz and Yucatan.
In January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) advised pregnant women to postpone travel to what is now more
than 30 countries and territories in the Caribbean, Central and South America (including
Mexico) where the agency has identified active transmission of the
mosquito-borne Zika virus. The CDC issued an alert after reports emerged from
Brazil of incomplete brain development (microcephaly) in babies of mothers who
were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant.
Negrete noted that the Zika maps that have been
released by the CDC simply show entire countries where there have been reported
Zika cases, rather than pinpointing where Zika has been found within those
The Mexico Tourism Board in a statement this week
urged travelers that there is “no need to cancel vacation plans to Mexico’s top
hot spots.” The agency quoted Pablo Kuri Morales, Mexico'a Undersecretary for
Prevention and Health Promotion, who said that “the reality is Zika virus does
not pose a massive risk to health in Mexico.”
The Mexico Tourism Board has said it would update the map
if and when additional Zika cases are reported in Mexico.
“Our Mexico tourism partners continue to demonstrate
their strength in addressing travelers concerns,” Jack Richards, president and
CEO of Pleasant Holidays, said in a statement about Mexico’s response to the
Zika virus outbreak. “It’s very clear they are committed to being very
proactive to reduce the risk of Zika, especially in the primary beach
destinations of Huatulco, Mazatlan, Vallarta-Nayarit, Ixtapa, Cancun, Riviera
Maya and Los Cabos.”