Safer food and fewer health risks were again inviting world travel, but terrorism is back

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That Worldwide Caution for American travelers comes just as foodborne illnesses and human health concerns largely faded after the pandemic 

The U.S. caution against foreign travel was issued after the Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli citizens and numerous visitors in murders not exceeded since the Third Reich.

“Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.”

The State Department comes just as World Health was against inviting travelers to hit the road, where they’ve been since 2022.

That’s because currently, there are no Travel Health Notices for either top health warnings of Level 3 or Level 4 from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   

That’s a big improvement from a couple of years ago when the pandemic had CDC putting up red lights all over the globe. The CDC system warns against all travel in Level 4 countries and cautions about nonessential travel in Level 3 countries.  

But no countries are currently getting the Level 3 or 4 treatment, meaning the world is open from a human health perspective.

CDC has Level 2 travel issue notices issued for several counties, which call for enhanced precautions.  A Level 2 Travel Health Notice may include 1) a disease outbreak (higher number of expected cases) in a country or region; 2) sporadic cases of a disease in an unusual or new geographic location; 3) natural and human-made disasters with severe environmental health risks, or infrastructure damage that would limit healthcare services availability; and 4) mass gathering events that can lead to disease outbreaks. 

Here is where Enhanced Precautions are called for:

  • Diphtheria in Hà Giang Province, Vietnam September 29, 2023
    There is an outbreak of diphtheria in Mèo Vạc and Yên Minh districts, Hà Giang province, Vietnam. Vaccination against diphtheria is essential to protect against disease. If traveling to an affected area, you should be up to date with your diphtheria vaccines.
  • Diphtheria in Niger September 27, 2023
    There is an outbreak of diphtheria in the Zinder region of Niger.
  • Diphtheria in Nigeria September 20, 2023
    There is an outbreak of diphtheria in several states in Nigeria. Vaccination against diphtheria is essential to protect against disease. If traveling to an affected area, you should be updated with your diphtheria vaccines.
  • Diphtheria in Guinea September 20, 2023
    There is an outbreak of diphtheria in several districts in Guinea. Vaccination against diphtheria is essential to protect against disease. If traveling to an affected area, you should be updated with your diphtheria vaccines.
  • Global Polio September 11, 2023
    Some international destinations have circulating poliovirus. Before any international travel, make sure you are up to date on your polio vaccines.
  • Fungal Infections Following Surgical Procedures in Mexico May 26, 2023
    Recently, some US residents returning from Matamoros, Mexico, were diagnosed with fungal meningitis infections that have led to severe illness and death.
  • Yellow Fever in Nigeria May 04, 2022
    There is an outbreak of yellow fever in Nigeria. Travelers to Nigeria should prevent yellow fever by getting vaccinated at least 10 days before travel and taking steps to avoid mosquito bites.

Level 1 requires practicing usual precautions for some in-country conditions.  Those situations include:

  • Dengue in Africa and the Middle East October 18, 2023
    Dengue is a risk in many parts of Africa and the Middle East. Some countries are reporting increased numbers of cases of the disease. Travelers to Africa and the Middle East can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
  • Nipah Virus in Kerala, India September 27, 2023
    There is an outbreak of the Nipah virus in Kerala, India.
  • Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever in Afghanistan September 27, 2023
    There is an outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in most provinces in Afghanistan.
  • Dengue in the Americas September 25, 2023
    Dengue is a risk in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Some countries are reporting increased numbers of cases of the disease. Travelers to the Americas can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
  • Global Measles September 13, 2023
    Many international destinations are reporting increased numbers of cases of measles.
  • Dengue in Asia and the Pacific Islands July 25, 2023
    Dengue is a risk in many parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Some countries are reporting increased numbers of cases of the disease. Travelers to Asia and the Pacific Islands can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
  • XDR Typhoid Fever in Pakistan June 16, 2023
    An outbreak of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid fever in Pakistan is ongoing. Extensively drug-resistant infections do not respond to most antibiotics.
  • Salmonella Newport in Mexico September 08, 2022
    Some travelers who have spent time in Mexico have been infected with multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella Newport.

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