Zika Virus Travel Alert

Southwest Airlines Customers

As always, our Customers can change their travel itineraries without a change fee and our non-refundable fares can be applied toward future travel without penalty as long as your reservation is cancelled 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your flight.

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General Zika Information

  • Zika virus is spread to people primarily through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
  • The CDC has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing, emphasizing the need for travelers to practice usual health precautions—predominantly precautions against insect bites.
  • A list of countries that have past or current evidence of Zika Virus transmission can be found on the CDC's website.
  • The CDC recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing, and that pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant consult their doctor before departing if travel is unavoidable. Additionally, Customers with specific documented medical restrictions, including pregnant women, can contact us at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792).
  • All travelers should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Additional Information

Protection from mosquito bites

  • Use an insect repellent approved by the EPA as directed. Higher percentages of active ingredients provide longer protection. Use products with the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and Icaridin), Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or IR3535. 
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply the sunscreen first, let it dry, and then apply insect repellent.
  • Reapply repellent every few hours as directed.
  • Don’t apply repellent on the skin under clothing.
  • As weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and socks.
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms, or use a screen to keep insects outdoors.
  • Remove standing water.

Symptoms

  • The Zika virus is a similar to dengue fever, with symptoms that generally appear within a week of exposure to include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), headache, pain behind eyes, and vomiting. While the disease is usually mild, symptoms can last for several days to a week. Pregnant women should take precautions as transmission of Zika virus to the fetus is possible if contracted. No vaccine is currently available to prevent Zika virus infection.
  • Seek medical attention if symptoms develop within three weeks of being in affected areas. Do not use aspirin or ibuprofen products until a medical professional can rule out dengue fever. It is important to continue using mosquito bite prevention strategies even after becoming infected to prevent further spread of the disease.

 Source of Information: Center for Diseases Control and Prevention