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2016 Olympic Games Under Threat as Zika Virus Could Affect Brazil Tourism

There are currently 30 countries actively affected by the Zika virus according to the US based Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Zika virus, a disease that causes deformities in newborns, is spread through Aedes mosquitoes and as a result, travellers who are pregnant or looking to conceive have been advised not to travel to infected countries. The symptoms are similar to that of dengue fever and there is currently no vaccination or treatment.

Although not travelling to these countries is a wise precaution with regards to minimising the spread of the virus, popular destinations including Mexico and Brazil - especially with the upcoming Olympic Games - are set to be hit hard in terms of tourism, losing billions of dollars worth of revenue. Other destinations that are looking to be affected include Panama and the Dominican Republic.

Although there are no official statistics regarding how the virus is affecting travel, the widespread fears regarding the virus could drastically reduce tourism income. In the latest figures from CDC and World Bank, out of all of the Zika affected countries, Mexico has the highest income from international tourists with a total of more than $14 billion in 2013.

The figures below are the countries affected by the Zika virus and their international tourism income.

Americas

Oceania/Pacific Islands

Africa

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