More than 350,000 people have boarded a plane from Heathrow Airport to Zika virus hotspots in the first four months of this year.
The Zika virus, which was declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is believed to cause babies to be born with shrunken heads.
Despite warnings about the risk of travelling, exclusive data analysis from getwestlondon revealed that 367,143 people took-off to far-flung destinations plagued by the disease, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, between January and April 2016.
It means 6% more passengers travelled to these countries than in the same period in 2015, with only Brazil showing a fall in numbers.
A number of confirmed cases of mosquitoes infecting humans have been reported in almost all of central and South America with the WHO urging pregnant women to postpone travelling to these countries until they give birth.
In the last three months, all four countries have reported Zika infections from mosquito bites.
British travellers infected
Since 2015 when the virus was first reported, 37 British travellers have been confirmed as infected, according to Public Health England (PHE).
A warning has also been issued to men as the disease can be sexually transmitted to a sexual partner as well as via blood transfusions.
The health agency has advised men suffering symptoms to use condoms for six months after becoming ill, and men with who have been to an area with Zika but have no symptoms to stay safe for at least two months.
According to PHE, there have been no cases of women transmitting the virus to their sexual partners.
However the danger is when a pregnant woman becomes infected then the disease can be passed to her fetus, putting the child at risk of being born with a smaller head and possible brain damage.
In April, the WHO said there was a ‘scientific consensus’ that Zika causes microcephaly - a birth defect where the baby’s head is smaller than expected.
Babies born with the incurable condition are also linked to having a number of other problems such as learning difficulties and problems with balance.