Concerns about Zika

Update May 16, 2016:

It’s been shown now that Zika can cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. Symptoms start with tingling and weakness in feet, arms, or face, that can quickly progress and evolve into paralysis. There is no known cure but there are several treatments that can reduce the length of the disorder. Most people need to be hospitalized.

 

Update April 14, 2016:

The CDC announced that the Zika virus is linked to the birth defects that they saw a correlation with before.

Click the picture for the New York Times article source:

 

Posted March 29, 2016:

Right now, a very real concern for anyone with a baby in their future is the Zika virus. There are many sources of information out there, and it gets overwhelming and scary at times. I’m an outdoorsy person, and at the time I’m writing this, I’m 16 weeks pregnant and I’m worried about spending time outside during the summer. Especially since Northern VA is about as mosquito ridden as the Amazon it seems. It’s hard to stay sane amidst all the changing and sometimes contradictory information. So I took the information that made me feel better and consolidated it:

Researchers know that pregnant women pass the Zika virus on to their fetuses if they are infected when they are pregnant. They know that there is a link between Zika and microcephaly, impaired growth, and eye, hearing, and brain deficits. They do not know at what point in the pregnancy the fetus is most vulnerable or if Zika specifically can be blamed. Researchers are working on all this now.

We do know that if a woman has been infected by Zika before, and the virus has left the blood (which takes a few weeks), there is no risk to future pregnancies. And they think the reason why there are so few cases of Zika based fatal impairments in countries such as Uganda where it was first identified, is because once you’ve been infected, it’s very unlikely you will get sick a second time. Like the chicken pox. But by no means does this mean you should go get sick just so you won’t get it later.

Also, we know that Zika is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. There are two types, one lives in tropical regions and the only place it lives in the United States is southern FL. The second type is commonly called the Asian Tiger Mosquito and has been found as north as Chicago and New York. They both can carry and transmit the Zika virus but have not been found carrying the virus yet in the US. Here is what they look like:

Aedes Mosquito/ aedesmosquito.com

But, because of all the uncertainty, and the fact that the Aedes mosquito is not just tropical, it’s a “better safe than sorry” scenario.

 

So protect yourself:

  1. Wear EPA-Registered bug repellant. These have been approved for use by pregnant and breastfeeding women: EPA-Registered bug repellants
  2. Always spray the bug repellant OVER your sunscreen and reapply both as directed.
  3. If you’re going on your babymoon to one of the countries identified as having locally acquired Zika transmission, wait until you’re sure you are not infected before trying to conceive.
  4. If you are pregnant, hold off on that vacation or save it for your second babymoon instead.
  5. Also, be aware that Zika can be sexually transmitted by the male partner, and the virus can be transmitted for a few days before symptoms present and a few days after they disappear.
  6. Before you travel, check the CDC for the latest travel advisories: Zika Travel Information
  7. So far, there have been no locally-acquired Zika transmissions in any of the 50 states; however, there have been in the US territories.
  8. The CDC is updating frequently with all the information they learn and researchers are working very hard at providing more definite answers to these uncertainties. I know I’ll be keeping up to date on any new developments. Their resources are all available here.

Is this a concern for anyone else? Leave a comment below.

Sources:

Swimming with Whale Sharks

When you think of Cancun you think of parties and spring break, but Cancun is one of the closest places to the US that you can go to swim with whale sharks, and you don’t even have to learn how to scuba dive! It’s perfect for a babymoon because it’s one of those things that you can’t take the kids to until they’re old enough to be good swimmers. I’m focusing on Isla Mujeres because it’s outside of the Cancun that everyone thinks of but still easy to get to.

Contoy Island Ecological Park/ Zonaturistica

There are several all-inclusive resorts and hotels to choose from ranging from couples only to family oriented. And several Airbnbs to choose from as well, including this gem:

The Seashell House~ Casa Caracol/ Airbnb

The Seashell House ~ Casa Caracol

Once you decide how much you want to spend on accommodations, and what you want that to include, you can focus on the things to do. There are so many options:

-Snorkeling at Parque Garrafon or several other areas around the island

-Snorkling or Diving at the the Musa Museo Subacuatico de Arte, an underwater sculpture garden

-Exploring Isla Contoy (most excursions come with lunch and a snorkeling stop)

-Ziplining through Garrafon Ecological Park

-Visiting Tortugranja the Turtle Farm

-Explore the ruins of the home of Pirate Mundaca at Casa Mundaca

-Shopping in Cancun or in Centro

-Swimming with dolphins or sea turtles

-Just laying on the beach soaking up the sun

-Or the reason why you clicked on this page:

Swimming with Whale Sharks!

Swimming with Whale Shark/ Lonely Planet

The whale sharks come around and feed off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula from mid May to Mid September every year. There’s even a Whale Shark Festival in July: Whale Shark Festival

There are several different companies where you can book a tour for around $150 a person. One company that is very well recommended is Ceviche Tours: Ceviche tours

If you have ever swum with whale sharks, please leave a comment below!

 

Sources:

https://www.zonaturistica.com/en/tourist-attractions-in/432/isla-mujeres-quintana-roo.html

http://www.islamujeres.info/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g150810-Activities-Isla_Mujeres_Yucatan_Peninsula.html

Behind the Traveler

I want to say thank you to those who have searched on google and decided to click on my page, and congratulations! If you’re researching babymoons, you’ve either decided to have a baby, you’re already pregnant, or you know someone who is and have decided they need to get out of the house and live while they still can, as I felt before our first kid.

To introduce myself, my husband and I have a two year old daughter and one due in September 2016, two dogs, and two cats. We also have wonderful friends and supportive family who think we’re insane for dragging the whole circus around on adventures in our Chevy Malibu.

This blog is to provide some ideas, some tips, and some itineraries for people who want to travel before or after their little one. I’m going to stay away from the night scenes because it’s hard to go out all night when you can’t drink like you used to and you fall asleep at 9p, and provide options for those who want rest and relaxation or adventure.

But mostly, one of my great loves is traveling and planning. Unfortunately, I haven’t traveled much as I’d have liked to, but both with and without the kids, my husband and I have had some pretty cool adventures. I will share all the positives, negatives, things we’ve learned, and I’ll be real and truthful throughout it all so hopefully you will learn from our mistakes.