Swine Flu Travel Warnings

by CajunMama

First, poor Mexico was hit with the increase in crime warnings. Now it seems that Mexico is the source of the outbreak of swine flu — and cases have been confirmed in other countries. We’ve all been hearing news reports about this possible pandemic, followed comments on Twitter, and listened to the opinions of our neighbors. But, what if you are currently in Mexico or you plan on traveling there in the next few days? I know that if I were in Mexico right now or had a big trip planned and paid for, I would be concerned about where to find the information I need. TravelingMamas.com has gathered information to help you make informed decisions. Here are some excerpts from a recent press statement issued by the Department of Homeland Security regarding the swine flu and travel warnings. You can read the entire release here: Official DHS Press Release Keep reading for resources and tips to stay informed before canceling your travel plans.

Dr. Richard Besser, Acting Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“It’s important that people understand that there’s a role for everyone to play when there’s an outbreak going on. There are things that individuals do, there’s things that families do, communities do to try and reduce the impact. At the individual level, it’s important people understand how they can prevent respiratory infections. Very frequent hand-washing is something that we talk about time and time again and that is an effective way to reduce transmission of disease. If you’re sick, it’s very important that people stay at home. If your children are sick, have a fever and flu-like illness, they shouldn’t go to school. And if you’re ill, you shouldn’t get on an airplane or another public transport to travel. Those things are part of personal responsibility in trying to reduce the impact.

We issued two days ago an outbreak notice on our web site regarding travel to Mexico. It indicated that if you are traveling to Mexico, that you look at that to see what precautions could you take as an individual to reduce the likelihood that you became ill. We’re going to continue to evaluate the situation in Mexico, and if need be we will increase the warnings based on what the situation warrants.”

Secretary Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security
“…..we have implemented passive surveillance protocols to screen individuals who may arrive at our borders. All persons entering the United States from a location of human infection of swine flu will be processed through all appropriate CBP protocols. Right now those are passive. That means that they’re looking for people who — and asking about, are you sick, have you been sick, and the like; and if so, then they can be referred over for further examination.

Travelers who do present with symptoms, if and when encountered, will be isolated per established rules. They will be provided both with personal protective equipment and we will continue to emphasize universal health measures like hand-washing and gloves. And if and when the situation develops all CBP sites can implement and we can deploy additional personnel to the borders.

In addition, at the TSA, many of the similar measures are being implemented there with respect to the protection of our TSA workers and also their experience with travelers. To date, the State Department has not issued official travel advisories for particularly Mexico, but again, as I said earlier, these situations are very fluid and so you need to keep up to date on that. In addition to the CDC website, the Department of State has a website that will keep travelers posted on what the situation is not only with our neighboring countries, but with countries around the world.”

Before everyone starts to panic and cancel the vacation plans they made for that November dream trip, we need to all take a moment to assess the situation and learn what we can do individually to prevent this disease from spreading.

* If you are planning on travel in the next few days, keep yourself updated on the latest travel advisories regarding swine flu by visiting the CDC’s official page on swine flu updates.

* Watch your local news and keep abreast of happenings that might affect you directly.

* Use basic hygiene practices, such as washing your hands with soap and hot water, using a tissue when you sneeze or cough (and immediately dispose of it), and monitor your health. If you begin to have any flu-like symptoms and you have recently traveled to any of the affected areas in Mexico or the US, you should visit your healthcare provider immediately.

* Be aware that if you are traveling from an affected area and coming through US Customs, you may be subject to a health check. Normal border control is in place, regarding sick travelers, but the precautions may increase as more is discovered about this illness.

To keep updated on official statements regarding travel plans and swine flu, visit The Center for Disease Control, The Department of Homeland Security, and the World Health Organization.

Canadian? Check out Health Canada for updates.

Airlines are now waiving change fees for passengers flying through affected areas.

European Union Health Commissioner Andorra Vassiliou urged Europeans to postpone nonessential travel to the United States and Mexico “unless it is very urgent for them.”

When it comes to swine flu and travel, we cannot be too careful. That said, again, the Mamas encourage you not to panic and cancel travel plans that are months away. Simply follow the updates from official organizations linked above. And let’s hope this awful virus can be contained.


Shannon Hurst Lane lives in south Louisiana and loves spontaneous road trips with her family or a solo mama getaway. She's the creator of TravelingMamas.com with a mission to inspire moms to get out there and explore our world. Google+
CajunMama
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Keith April 26, 2009 at

Can I put this link in here to the situation in UK as af yesterday (26th)?

http://www.tiscali.co.uk/news/pa/uknews/2009/04/27/uk-search-for-first-swine-flu-case.html?lpos=news_ticker&lid=UK search for first swine flu case

2 Wayne April 27, 2009 at

My latest web comic about the whole thing:
http://bit.ly/t9R4D

3 CajunMama April 27, 2009 at

Hi Keith – Thanks for the link to the UK story. Hope you’re doing well over there in Amesbury :)

Wayned – Funny comic. That’s precisely why we have this article available. We don’t want people to panic, but we do want them to be informed, especially since so many of our friends and colleagues travel internationally each day. In fact, we have a few who are currently in Mexico and we hope they are doing okay.

4 MountainMama April 27, 2009 at

My mom is just back in California from Ixtapa. She said she and her friends tried to buy some masks to wear in the airports, but couldn’t find any easily. She washed her hands A LOT. She has no flu symptoms, and was told that the incubation period is 72 hours, so if she has no symptoms in coming few days she’s in the clear.

Very thankful my family was in Mexico April 2-6, and returned home sans any problems.

5 Lorrie April 27, 2009 at

We are planning a 50th wedding anniv. party in Club Med Ixtapa in June – we are taking our whole family 5 grandchildren – youngest being 8 mos. old. – should we go? Lorrie

6 Sybil P. Estess April 27, 2009 at

MY PHD and DEAN at Univ of Houston husband and other profs are taking 23 students to TURKEY on May 19. Should they get travel insurance, or cancel trip? I am scheduled to fly into Burbank, CA. from Houston Hobby on May 22, for 18 days.

Should I cancel? I was traveling to San Diego in CA. Should
I stay away?

My husband is 66 and has lung problems, was hospitalized and treated for 30 days last fall, having contracted flu and lung infection in Sicily. I am 66 with bronchal problems. Sybil Estess

7 Story Teller April 27, 2009 at

My sisters and I have reservations to meet in Mexico in 10 days. This isn’t brightening our day at all!

As with everything… Hope for the best – Prepare for the worst.

Story Teller
http://www.thebusysaver.com

8 Keith April 27, 2009 at

Sybil:

I strongly urge you to consult your medical practitioner on these issues. As for travel insurance, I never leave home without it.

9 G.A. April 28, 2009 at

The U.S. is lying about the so called swin flue, for political reasons (as always, they need someone to blame) in order to save face. “50 people have contacted the swin flu and not one has dead in the U.S.?” In Mexico, 100 people have died? The U.S. has more or less about 35,000 cases of the flu deaths per year, way more than Mexico. Those people in Mexico have dead for a smart flu Bomb that kills only Mexicans and spares Americans? The people who are dying from the flu in the U.S., the Medical establishment for Embarrassment and blame, In order to save face and promote the lies will simply say “it was some other flu. Is this some type of intelligent test? “MAN ARE AMERECANS STUPID” do you think you’re kidding the world? You’re not. Mexico knows exactly what you doing; they have a long History of Americas stupidity and crap. I don’t care if it’s the lizard flu the American who died or dead

10 omar June 4, 2009 at

JUST GOT BACK FROM MEXICO! Hi there, my family and I just got back from a rthree week trip to mexico and its cool I have an 8 and 3 year old and a 19 month old, and they didnt get sick once i was surprized not even a small feever, We flew into guadalajara and proceeded by bus to michoacan and everything seems A -ok you ask about it and people say its like the chupacabra they say its there and no one has seen it. ask a doctor and they chuckle, more children have died this year in peru of regular flue that turns to pneumonia and other respiratory illness, all that can be prevented with blankets and jackets to those in need but you dont see a big campain o ver that ? allot of it is political follow the money and who owns majority of shares of Tamiflu . more people die of AIDS every day . think about it

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