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.
Novel Coronavirus - Information for Students Traveling Abroad
The World Health Organization and governmental health agencies worldwide are closely monitoring the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus. The novel Coronavirus causes 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 the United States. For more information, please visit OHIO's Human Coronavirus Overview.
On January 27, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States issued a “Warning Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel” for all of China. This is the highest-level travel warning issued by the CDC.
The U.S. Department of State (USDOS) has increased its Travel Advisory for all of China to Level 4 “Do not travel.” More information is also available on the International SOS website (OHIO’s membership number is 11BCAS000010).
Most major airlines worldwide have suspended flights to China. Following the advice of both USDOS and the CDC, OHIO students should refrain from traveling to China at this time. Students with current travel itineraries to or with stops in China should contact the Office of Global Opportunities at 740-593-4583 for advice.
Standard travel advice includes:
- 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.