Texas resident contracts Zika after Miami visit; survey shows vacationers still traveling to Florida

Posted at 11:36 AM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 11:33:17-04

GAINESVILLE, Fl. — The recent Zika outbreak has done little to frighten vacationers planning a trip to Florida, according to a recent college study.

The University of Florida's 'Tourism Crisis Management Initiative' surveyed 828 potential visitors planning trips to Sunshine State within the next six months, and less than 10 percent have changed their travel plans. Of those who changed their plans, researchers said about 60 percent postponed their trip.

Seventy percent of overall participants said they are concerned about the Zika virus being in Florida, but most respondents are aware the outbreak is confined to a small district in the Miami-Dade area.

National health officials report at least one Texas resident, who visited the outbreak area in Miami, has tested positive for the virus. This patient is the first Texas case linked to travel within the continental United States.

The Obama administration declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico, where  well over 10,000 Zika cases have been registered.

Florida researchers learned officials and community leaders can build confidence in potential Florida visitors by providing insect-repellent for guests in the public areas of hotels and by also directing visitors to websites with safety tips.