We were already reeling from the ever-growing outbreak of Ebola but now a rare strain of enterovirus is spreading among school-aged children. Of course, this is causing widespread concern since summer vacation is over and now kids are crammed into small classrooms together. The holiday season is also approaching which could mean that, if these medical situations aren’t under control, it could have an impact on when, where and how you travel.
Stay Home if You Are Sick
Become familiar with the symptoms that the Centers for Disease Control have associated with both Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever and Enterovirus D68 and immediately seek medical attention if you or someone close to you is showing signs of either infection.
Even if you are experiencing symptoms of another, less severe form of illness, consider staying home to avoid spreading it to others and ruining their holiday.
Areas Most Affected
Enterovirus D68 is quickly making its way across the country so it’s impossible to predict, at this point, where it will be most concentrated. With 10 states initially reporting hospitalizations, it’s likely that the illness will show up in almost every state.
Ebola is more dangerous but, fortunately, is somewhat easier to avoid. The outbreak is in West Africa and concentrated in the areas of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. For now, it’s probably best to avoid traveling to these regions.
Even if there isn’t some mystery illness making headlines, it’s always a good idea to check for any travel advisories before making travel plans. While travel agencies are a good resource, it’s best to consult the Alerts and Warnings page on the U.S. Department of State website or the Traveler’s Health page on the Centers for Disease Control website.
As we approach cold and flu season, it’s a good idea to take extra precautions to stay healthy and that’s even more important with outbreaks of disease. Emphasize the importance of regular handwashing with soap and water and the use of sanitizer when a sink isn’t available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth since those are popular points of entry for bacteria and viruses.Get enough sleep, drink enough water and get ample exercise to keep your immune system working optimally.
With a little planning and a commitment to being proactive, you can make it through the upcoming holiday travel rush. If all else fails, settle in at home and enjoy the time with your family.