Scenario:

Zika outbreak in Latin America

In February 2016 the World Health Organization declared the Zika outbreak to be a “public-health emergency of international concern”, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 2 travel alert for individuals traveling to affected countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing, including Brazil, Colombia and Panama. While much is still to be learned about Zika and its correlation with neurological disorders and birth defects, travel for pregnant women to affected areas has been advised against, and women trying to get pregnant should consult with an international travel healthcare provider.

Austral Group response:

Our Risk Management team proactively reached out to travelers with upcoming trips to Brazil and Colombia to share detailed information about the ongoing situation, including Austral Group’s on-the-ground perspective on the outbreak, taking measures to re-route travelers to destinations not affected by the outbreak. Following the CDC announcement, Austral Group offered full refunds to travelers not comfortable traveling to Zika-impacted areas. Many travelers chose to remain with their original plans and to take additional precautions based on the information provided. Austral Group continues to closely monitor Zika developments and will modify policies and protocols accordingly.