Volunteers who go on mission trips with a North Texas-based Christian charity group will soon get updated travel advisories regarding the Zika virus.
"We are pointing directly to the CDC advice," said Russell Dilday, with Buckner International. "We're not experts in that field but we want to take it seriously, and it seems like every day there's a new precaution that we need to take, and so we're keeping everyone updated."
The oldest non-profit organization in Dallas, Buckner International offers a wide range of services to families and children in need throughout Central and South America, including four countries now affected by the Zika virus – Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.
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"The latest team that just returned from Guatemala, no issues, you know not a lot of warnings by that time in country," said Dilday.
The 20 volunteers returned Monday after five days in Guatemala, where more than 100 cases of Zika have been reported so far.
"They're all feeling great from what we've been told, so thankfully they're okay," said Brynn Thompson, Buckner's director of international missions.
Normally, Thompson would have gone along on that trip, but with her own baby due in less than a month, she thought it best to stay home.
"Pregnant women should avoid traveling there," said Thompson. "Obviously I ask all participants to pray about going regardless of if there's a Zika virus or not, just so that they feel at peace about going."
The next group of volunteers will leave for Guatemala in March.