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hannahsog Mar 27th, 2016 05:27 AM

We are in the middle stages of planning a Curacao trip with our two children ages four and six. We were planning on renting a house near Cas Abao beach. My mother in law called frantically and is now obsessively sending Zika information and how it's linked to Guillen Barre syndrome. I was not even remotely worried before (we are done having children) but am now reconsidering. Should I be worried or cancel?

Sassafrass Mar 27th, 2016 09:01 AM

Your post inspired me to read more, thinking to allay your MIL's concerns. I was wrong. I did not realize this latest issue, which is disastrous. So, questions are, are there Zika outbreaks on Curaçao? How effective are repellents and are the strong ones safe for children?

Now, I must re-think our plans for the Caribbean next year. We go on a cruise every year in winter and this winter did not have a single bite, so maybe time of year or which islands we go to have made it OK. Hope by next year, Doctors will know for sure and have things pinned down.

Good luck with your decision.

Jimmie Mar 27th, 2016 10:43 AM

My sense is that drier islands like Curaçao face less of a threat. If the rental has screens on the windows and you have some bug spray, I would think the risks are manageable. However, I canceled a Christmas trip to the USVI because of the rainy fall season and the house we stay in does not have screens.

WWK Mar 27th, 2016 12:15 PM

The virus has already made its way to the United States, so I don't know what you solve by staying home.

I would advise taking the necessary precautions. Spray yourselves liberally both day and night and again after swimming. Avoid swampy or marshy areas.

Then hope for the best. I think the risk of coming down with Guillen Barre is very small.

Sassafrass Mar 27th, 2016 12:40 PM

Agree the risk probably is small, and if you know the danger ahead of time and expose yourself, no problem.

Of course, you can't eliminate all risk of harm to your children. Otherwise, they would never get to do anything. If you know the danger and do your best to protect and mitigate risk to your children, then your calculated risk is based on a thoughtful, realistic decision weighing pros and cons of doing/not doing something.

OTOH, if you knowingly expose your children, something happens, and there is permanent damage, how do you live with the guilt you would surely experience?

World health organizations do seem more concerned now because the link to Guillen Barre is looking more and more positive.

Back to your dilemma. What is the actual situation on Curacao?

hannahsog Mar 27th, 2016 06:11 PM

Reportedly, there have been thirty or so cases on the island. The rental we are looking at has both air conditioning and screens. I spoke with a pediatrician today who thought it was fine to go (as long as you are not pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant). He said about 1 in 4000 people exposed to zika could get Guillen barre (but no me is really sure yet). Anyway the rates of zika infection seem much lower than that even....

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