NEW YORK (AP) – More U.S. airlines and cruise operators are offering refunds or letting pregnant women change itineraries if they booked a trip to places dealing with an outbreak of Zika virus. While health officials say most people exposed to the virus suffer only mild symptoms, the risk is far greater for pregnant women. Brazilian officials have linked the mosquito-borne illness to babies born with small or deformed heads.
Health officials say three New Yorkers have contracted the Zika virus. All three have recently returned from countries experiencing a Zika outbreak. The virus is believed to spread to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. The disease is not believed to spread via human contact and the mosquitoes believed to carry it are not found in New York.
Health officials have also confirmed the first case of Zika virus in Massachusetts, a Boston resident who caught the virus while traveling abroad. The patient is expected to make a full recovery. At least 31 cases have been confirmed involving U.S. residents over the past year.