Thomas Cook issues Zika virus travel advice

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Holidaymakers travelling to regions affected by the Zika virus are being recommended by Thomas Cook to take the normal precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.

The company is keeping its policy under constant review and is allowing amendments to alternative destinations for anyone who is pregnant and due to travel on a Cook charter holiday to the affected areas up to and including April 30.

For those customers travelling on holidays using scheduled airlines, Cook said it will contact the airline regarding its specific policy.

While cases of the virus remain predominantly in Brazil and Equador, there have been reports of cases in Mexico, Barbados, Dominican Republic and Cape Verde – all destinations for UK holidaymakers.

The World Health Organisation does not advise against general travel but has warned that the mosquito-borne virus is likely to spread across nearly all of the Americas, apart from Canada and Chile.

Zika has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains.

“We are contacting all customers due to travel to Mexico, Barbados, Dominican Republic and Cape Verde up to and including April 30 to advise them of the situation and offer assistance if required, prioritising those departing over the next few days,” Cook said.

“Our resort teams are contactable 24 hours a day should any customers currently on holiday in these countries need anything during their stay.

“Whilst the symptoms of the Zika virus are usually mild, customers are recommended to take the normal precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.

“Thomas Cook is confident that customers travelling to affected areas will still enjoy have an enjoyable holiday.”

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