In recent weeks, most of us have become familiar with the strain of flu found in pigs that has mutated to be able to infect humans. Swine Flu cases have been confirmed in the US, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK, and Spain. For travelers concerned with health, it is a time to be alert and informed, but not to panic or spread fear.
So far, cases elsewhere in the US have been mild. The reported deaths are in Mexico. CDC officials recommend Americans avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico.
Travelers to the US have expressed concerns to me about exposure to the reported outbreaks. Vacation rental guests want to know if Arizona or Florida have reported cases. The answer as of today is "No, none." Arizona health department officials report having a good supply of Tamiflu and other drugs to treat an outbreak.
If you plan to travel to other US states with reported cases of Swine Flu , boost your immune system and take precautions to avoid contracting this illness with these practices:
- Wash your hands often. Dr. Oz said today on Oprah, "Be assertive, speak up about washing hands." Better to be embarrassed about washing up than to get sick.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
- Cover your mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing.
- Don't share towels or clothes, and take care in gyms and health clubs not to touch robes, slippers, or towels of other guests.
- On flights, open the air conditioning vent to allow more oxygen to flow near your seat, even if it means you have to put on a sweater. Airlines save money on fuel costs by cutting back oxygen. Breathing the recirculated air from other passengers is not as healthy as breathing the oxygen replenished air from the valve in the ceiling over your seat.
If you have concerns about an upcoming trip:
- Talk with your doctor, natropath, or nurse practitioner
- Talk with the vacation rental owners to get information about outbreaks and health care facilities in their area.
- Check the cancellation policies of you rental as vacation rental policies differ from one to another.
- Do not book a vacation rental unless the owners provide written agreements and cancellation policies. You can check out my vacation rental policies on the EcoLux website.
- If you have already planned a trip into a risk area and want to cancel, I recommend contacting the owners to discuss it even if the cancellation policy does not allow it. Owners may be willing to work something out under these unusual conditions.
Websites for monitoring the progression of swine influenza, http://www.blogger.com/www.travel.state.gov, http://www.cdc.gov/, and http://www.who.int/.
Later this week I will post on health tips for vacationers. Let me know what you do to boost your immune system and protect your health while travelling.
This blog is for bottom-up dispensers of cool who enjoy conscious travel and healthy living--conscious of our spending and our impact on our bodies and the world. We feel that "the small, the slow, the local, and the personal" will build the new economy. Your comments will help enrich this information for all of us. Please share your tips and experience.