Travel

Norovirus Outbreak at 2018 Olympics

Health Officials and IOC Discussing Norovirus Outbreak

This winter, norvirus is making headlines for an outbreak in South Korea, and it will most likely get worse before it gets better. Transmission of the virus is extremely efficient; it only takes a small amount and short exposure time before it can be effectively passed to another victim, it can withstand temperature fluctuations, and people can pass the virus to another before and after they become symptomatic.
Navigating PyeongChang, South Korea during Olympics XXIII

PyeongChang 2018 Olympics: A Land Without Google Maps

While traveling, it is always important to know how to get around, especially when abroad. Knowing where you are can save you the hassle of getting on a bus going the wrong direction or knowing whether a cab ride to the other end of town will take 15 minutes or 50 minutes. Travelers in South Korea face difficulties as two of the most popular navigation apps, Google Maps and Apple Maps, do not provide adequate coverage due to strict national security laws.
US State Department Updates Travel Advisory for Mexico

State Department Puts 5 Mexican States on ‘Do Not Travel’ List

On Jan. 10, the United States Department of State unveiled a new travel advisory system in which countries, as well as some individual provinces, are assigned a safety rating on a scale from one to four. The lowest level on the scale, Level 1, is reserved for areas in which the Department of State advises travelers to exercise normal precautions, while a Level 4 designation means that US citizens should not travel to the area. The State Department’s purpose of releasing travel advisories is twofold, in that they set guidelines regarding where diplomatic personnel may travel, and inform US citizens of where there are significant threats to security.
Satellite image of Southern California wildfires driven by Santa Ana winds

Santa Ana Winds: The Perfect Ingredient for Extreme Fire Conditions

Firefighting crews in Southern California are hard at work battling destructive wildfires that ignited Dec. 4-6 in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. As of Dec. 7, nearly 190,000 residents in both counties were ordered to evacuate ahead of the fast-moving fires. Four large fires of note - the Thomas Fire in Ventura County and the Rye Fire, Creek Fire, and Skirball Fire in Los Angeles County - have burned a combined 46,943 hectares (116,000 acres). While personnel are working to restrict fire growth, containment of these major fires is still in its early stages. Since Dec. 4, weather conditions in Los Angeles and Ventura counties have hampered the success of firefighters. The US National Weather Service (NWS) maintains a Red Flag warning for both counties, meaning that conditions will be ideal for wildfire ignition and rapid spread. Strong winds, known as Santa Ana winds, are the leading cause of the recent wildfire outbreak.
Traveling with Diabetes

Traveling and Living Well With Diabetes

November 14 is designated as World Diabetes Day, an awareness campaign promoting prevention, testing, and treatment at all stages of disease development. Personal diabetes-related supplies, medication, and equipment may cause confusion and delays at some airport screening checkpoints. Diabetes testing supplies may be difficult to obtain or unavailable in many countries. Read on for tips on traveling with diabetic testing supplies, adapting to differing climates, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while abroad.
Travel Security for US-bound Flights

New Security Measures for US-Bound Flights Unlikely to Cause Significant Disruptions

On Thursday, October 26, the deadline for airlines to impose new security measures mandated by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for international flights to the United States went into effect. While the deadline received significant media attention, the new measures have not caused significant disruptions for travelers.

Staying Healthy During The Hajj

The 2017 Hajj – the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and the largest mass gathering in the world – is expected to take place Aug. 30 to Sept. 4. Officials will likely identify sporadic outbreaks of diarrheal, respiratory, or bloodborne diseases during and immediately following the Hajj. Those with pre-existing heart or respiratory conditions are more likely to experience negative health consequences when participating in Hajj events.

Special Report - Authorities Preparing for Potential Transport and Business Disruptions during Rare Total Solar Eclipse

Special report - Authorities Preparing for Potential Transport and Business Disruptions during Rare Total Solar Eclipse. For a few brief minutes on Aug. 21, day will turn into night in 12 states in the continental US during a rare total solar eclipse. During this time, the earth's moon will perfectly align with the sun, casting a 70-mile-wide shadow (known as the umbra) from Oregon to South Carolina. The total solar eclipse has potential to create localized business and transport disruptions in the path of totality in the days leading up to and during the passage.
North Korea threat to commercial airlines

North Korea: Ballistic Missile Tests Unlikely to Threaten Commercial Airliners

Reports that a North Korean ballistic missile passed near a commercial airliner during a missile test on July 28 have raised concerns that Pyongyang's ballistic missile testing could pose a threat to civil aviation in the region. While North Korea's failure to announce its missile tests in advance is worrisome, the ballistic missile tests themselves pose only a minimal threat to commercial airliners. Other aspects of North Korea's behavior, such as surface-to-air missile tests, could pose a slight threat to commercial airliners flying near the Korean Peninsula. The greatest threat to commercial aircraft would be during a major North Korean offensive on Seoul, as airlines struggle to redirect flights out of the area. However, despite elevated tensions, there is no indication that major hostilities are imminent in the near term.    

Potential Yellow Fever Vaccine Shortage in the US

The current outbreak of yellow fever in Brazil, has also strained existing stock, and Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of yellow fever vaccine, has announced that once exhausted, no additional product will be available until mid-2018. Given the anticipated critical shortage, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of an alternate vaccine; Stamaril, to protect against this disease. Stamaril, available in Europe, had not previously been used for US residents and is considered “experimental” by US authorities.

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