Answers to Go with Susan Smith

Q. I’d like to travel to South America this winter. That means I will be visiting in their summer. Can you help me find countries that have not had Zika outbreaks?

A. I found this answer on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their online “World Map of Areas with Risk of Zika” makes it clear which countries are low-risk for Zika.

Unfortunately, the disease is found across Latin America. The only two major countries that haven’t had cases of Zika are Uruguay and Chile.

One bit of good news, since the virus is carried by mosquitoes, mountainous areas within countries may be relatively safe.

Here is the CDC’s current information on Peru: “There is a risk of Zika in Peru. However, there are high-altitude areas where mosquitoes that can spread Zika usually do not live.

“Travelers – including pregnant women and their partners and couples considering pregnancy – who never go below 2,000 meters (6500 feet) elevation have less of a chance of getting Zika from a mosquito.”

The map indicates that high mountainous regions of Mexico as well as Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru are relatively safe from Zika.

The map I have been referring to is a world map. The map shows that Zika circles the globe. Here is a partial list of the regions included in the Zika travel warning: Central Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Fiji.

These regions may have other health alerts, but are not on the Zika warning map: Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, South Africa, North Africa, Europe, Scandinavia, China and Russia.

If you decide to visit a country that is on the Zika alert list, the CDC website provides detailed advice to minimize your risk of exposure.

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