At MMO, the safety and security of student participants is our number one priority.
Mosquitoes in Haiti can transmit several diseases including Malaria, Dengue, and Chikungunya. Carefully read Maine Music Outreach’s Safety, Security, and Health Document for more information.
Zika is a newer virus that has been reported in the Carribbean. Below is MMO’s most recent statement regarding this mosquito borne infection.
The safety of our travelers to Haiti is MMO’s highest priority. We have begun a thorough investigation of the Zika outbreak in the Caribbean and have consulted the information available from the U.S. CDC and the World Health Organization. Zika is a mosquito born virus causing mild fever, rashes and joint discomfort but is also possibly related to the development of severe fetal complications for women who are pregnant or who become pregnant soon after exposure to Zika. There are a few reported cases of Zika in Haiti, but these have not yet been confirmed.
We have also consulted with our board member and former Ambassador to Haiti, Dean Curran, who has been in touch with officials and health care experts in Haiti who emphasize the importance of taking precautionary measures to prevent exposure, including the use of mosquito repellent, bed nets, long sleeved shirts and pants.
Furthermore, our local medical expert, Dr. Minda Gold, advises
that the virus does not appear to pose any long term risks, according to information provided by the CDC.
We will continue to monitor the outbreak closely and will keep participants informed of further developments. Based on the information currently available, we believe the virus poses little or no serious risk to our students. We will ask Dr. Gold to attend a meeting closer to departure to address precautionary steps all travelers should take. In the meantime, any concerned parent or traveler should contact our board member, Ken Williams.
For additional information, please refer to the U.S. CDC website, provided here.