Airlines are starting to offer refunds to passengers who were preparing to travel to countries in central and south America where the Zika virus outbreak has taken hold.
The relatively new mosquito-borne virus is connected with a neurological disorder that results in babies being born with abnormally small heads. There is currently no medical treatment or vaccination for the Zika virus.
British Airways has announced plans to refund pregnant women who have booked flights to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, or to Mexico City or Cancun, Mexico.
Customers can change their booking free of charge, delay their journey or choose an alternative destination. The deal applies through February.
American Airlines is offering pregnant passengers a full refund if they provide a doctor’s note showing they are unable to fly to the following cities: San Salvador (El Salvador), San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa in Honduras, Panama City and Guatemala City.
United Airlines will offer customers “who are traveling to the affected regions the opportunity to rebook at a later date or receive a full refund.”
The Zika virus has now been reported in 25 countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning pregnant women against travel to those areas.
The Center for Disease Control’s Zika travel advice now includes warnings for Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.