Top Health Alerts for Cruise Travelers in 2015

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In light of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the Department of State has issued level 3 travel warnings for Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone for 2015. They have also advised against non-essential travel. There is also a Level 2 travel alert for Mali as an extended precaution measure against Ebola.

Similarly, the WHO and the CDC have issued guidelines to public health authorities and airlines to evaluate the risk of exposure in travelers coming back in 2015 from countries affected by the Ebola virus. All such travelers are advised to consult the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for screening procedures.

Travelers are also being advised to contact the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that they are able to receive important safety and security updates with respect to travel alerts, travel warnings and worldwide caution.

There is also a travel alert in place for Burkina Faso recommending all U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to this region. The alert is expected to expire in January 29, 2015. The alert is in place for security reasons.

Travelers planning to travel to South Africa in June 2015 or after should be aware that with effect from 1 June, 2015, parents traveling with children into or out of South Africa may be required to show their child’s full birth certificate as well as proof of parental or legal authority if the child is accompanied with one parent. In addition, due to Ebola virus in West Africa, the South African government has also announced travel restrictions and warnings. Travelers will be required to complete a Travel Health questionnaire upon arrival in South Africa. Those travelling from or through Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone will be required to go through additional screening.

There is another travel alert in place from the Department of State for U.S citizens traveling to the South Pacific region due to the ongoing threat of tropical cyclones. The cyclone season in this region begins in November and ends in April. The travel alert is thus in place till April 30, 2015 and advises all citizens to monitor local weather reports before traveling. Travelers should be aware that in the event of a cyclone, they will not be able to depart the area for 24 to 48 hours if not longer. There is also a risk of high tides, flooding, landslides, mudslides and damage to infrastructure in case of weather deterioration.

Finally, the usual travel alerts are in place for Cholera, Chikungunya, Measles, Dengue, Ebola, MERS, and Polio for travelers planning to visit the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Samoa, Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, Philippines, American Samoa, Vietnam, French Polynesia, China, Central America, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Arabian Peninsula, South America, Caribbean, Somalia, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Syria, Ethiopia and Iraq.

For more information on premier internation travel care and precautions, please visit Dr. Marina Gafanovich’s website at www.travelclinicnyc.org.