Staying healthy when traveling is key to having a successful experience. On this page, we highlight a few current concerns related to travel health. For more specific information about your travel destination, visit www.internationalsos.com (membership ID: 11BCAS000010) or the Centers for Disease Control Travel Health website.
COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) - Information for Students Traveling Abroad
The World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and international and domestic agencies are closely monitoring the outbreak of the COVID-19, also known as Novel Coronavirus. COVID-19 may cause severe respiratory illness, including pneumonia. There is currently no vaccination available. It has sickened thousands of people in China, where the illness originated, and cases have now been identified in growing numbers and locations worldwide, including South Korea, Italy and the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a "Warning Level 3 - Avoid Nonessential Travel" for China, South Korea and Italy. This is the highest-level travel warning issued by the CDC.
In accordance with guidance from the CDC, Ohio University has temporarily restricted University-sponsored travel to any countries that are under a CDC Warning Level 2 or 3. For this reason, the Office of Global Opportunities has now suspended student travel to Italy and Japan. We are working closely to support students currently in Italy and those with upcoming programs there. All students with plans to travel to Italy at this time, please make alternate arrangements or contact the Office of Global Opportunities for support.
New information is forthcoming on a daily basis, and the Office of Global Opportunities continues to closely monitor developments. For up-to-date travel advisories and information, please visit the U.S. Department of State (USDOS), the Centers for Disease Control, and on the International SOS website (OHIO’s membership number is 11BCAS000010).
The University recommends that all travelers follow the advice and cautions provided by the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control, and International SOS.
Be sure to follow standard travel advice, including:
- Maintain good personal hygiene
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer when handwashing is not an option
- Avoid touching your face (mouth, nose, eyes) with unwashed hands
- Ensure that your food, including eggs, is cooked thoroughly
- Do not visit live animal markets or farms
- Keep away from people who are obviously sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your arm when you cough or sneeze; if you cover with a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands; if you cover with your hand, wash immediately afterwards
- If you are ill, contact your medical provider immediately.
Measles is a highly contagious disease. Many places worldwide are experiencing an increased number of measles cases or even measles outbreaks. This is in large part due to lack of sufficient vaccination rates.
Patients are usually contagious before they exhibit signs of being sick. It is key to be properly vaccinated agains measles when traveling abroad.
You can learn more about measles and prevention here.
Zika is a viral infection transmitted to people through mosquito bites. It has been linked to birth defects in cases where the mother was pregnant while infected with Zika. Each year a small number of travelers are being diagnosed with the disease after they return to the U.S. from a Zika-affected area. More information about Zika is available from the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Travel Health website.
As the CDC notes, Zika does continue to be a problem in many parts of the world and there is no vaccination available to prevent infection. The CDC further writes that “your decision to delay or cancel travel is personal and complex. In making this decision, consider your travel destination and your ability to protect yourself from mosquito bites. CDC recommends that pregnant women and couples planning a pregnancy within the next 3 months consult with a health care provider in making this decision.”
You can learn more about Zika prevention here.
OGO works with study abroad program directors traveling to Zika-affected areas to advise participants of methods to avoid mosquito bites and prevention of sexual transmission.
We also recommend travelers sign up for health and security updates for their travel destination from our travel security partner International SOS at www.internationalsos.com or using the ISOS Assistance App (membership ID: 11BCAS000010).
Additional information on health and safety on global programs can be found on the OGO Health and Safety page. The Office of Global Opportunities can be contacted at 740-593-4583.