Text me about: Zika virus

Traveling soon? You may want to check the risk of Zika. The Center for Disease Control just made this uber-easy with, you guessed it: texting!

To get this info, text (855) 255-5606 with one of three words: PLAN, TRIP, or HOME. You’ll be prompted to answer what country you’re traveling to. The CDC will then respond with the level of Zika danger in that country, and information on how to stay safe.

Here’s how it works:


The Zika virus has been a global public health emergency since 2016. The CDC works around the clock to develop tests for infectious diseases and keep the public informed. These viruses spread fast, so it’s important to use a channel of communication that is equally fast: texting.

“A disease can get anywhere in the world within 24 hours, so having this first line of connection with travelers to educate them on what they can do to prevent further spreading is really important to us,” said Carolina Uribe, Public Health Advisor at the CDC. “This is changing the way we connect with our audience, which may be something we look at doing permanently.”

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