IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal

Outbreaks

World Tourism Day 2020

Returning to travel responsibly: World Tourism Day

This year’s celebration of World Tourism Day feels a little different. Countries around the world are slowly reopening their borders and international travel is on the rise but concern about COVID-19 continues to permeate the travel industry. There is no set timeframe or guide for the industry’s recovery, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in many regions and a vaccine or treatment is yet to be developed. It is clear, however, that recovery needs to ensure the long-term health of people and the planet. In this blog, in celebration of World Tourism Day, we are looking at how tourism can become more responsible and what we, as travellers, can do to make sure we protect our health and ...

Hospital beds

In the news: The effects of COVID-19 on other infectious diseases

This article is part of our regular travel and global health news round-up. The crushing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic have strained healthcare systems and capacity around the world. Many communities have been responding to the pandemic and grappling with the collateral damage of COVID-19 on other public health crises, as seen by reports of increases in overdoses amid the opioid epidemic, increases in domestic abuse and as Oxfam reports, millions being pushed towards hunger. Physical distancing measures and lockdowns have kept some infectious diseases from spreading as they normally would – for now. However, many programs and funding streams typically dedicated to providing essential healthcare services have been temporarily put on hold or redirected. This has created a ...

Person standing in rice fields

How to travel safely and responsibly as COVID-19 restrictions ease up

The COVID-19 pandemic has given us an opportunity to reset and reevaluate the way we travel. Non-essential international travel is currently still not advised, but as restrictions begin to lift and travel begins to slowly resume, we need to ask: How can we travel better and more consciously? In this blog, we outline some key things to consider before your next trip – whether it’s an international flight or summer road-trip. The travel landscape is different now and we should seize this moment to reassess our travel habits in order to reduce our health and environmental footprint and protect the communities we visit. Understanding the risks This pandemic has emphasized the role travellers play in the international spread of ...

COVID-19: Essential Reading

The COVID-19 pandemic has been dominating the news cycle for months now. To help you sift through the noise, we’ve collected articles and resources so you can stay up-to-date on the latest developments, current gaps in research, and what we can learn from the different global responses to this new disease. The basics of COVID-19: What you need to know For information on COVID-19 – including how it spreads, symptoms and what to do if you feel ill – refer to your local health authority and government. These sources will also have information on what prevention measures are currently taking place in your community. Make sure you and your family are following official guidance regarding physical distancing, travel, and ...

COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2)

COVID-19: Travel restrictions, returning travellers, and advice for travellers abroad

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. Many countries have introduced measures that significantly affect how we live, work, and travel. As COVID-19 continues to spread among communities around the world, it’s important to work together to reduce transmission and protect those most at risk. In this blog, you will find updated guidance on international travel restrictions, what to do if you’re currently abroad or a returning traveller as well as what you can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your community. We also link to resources on caring for your mental health during the pandemic. Have more questions about COVID-19 and travel? Check out: Coronavirus COVID-19 Q&A. Can I still travel internationally? At ...

COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2)

The disease on every traveller’s mind: COVID-19

The end of 2019 ushered in something new: an epidemic. For the last two months, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has captivated the world’s attention. COVID-19 has spread to 6 continents – only Antarctica is free of infections – and as cases increase, many of us have questions about the virus and how or if we should be travelling. In this blog, we answer your questions about COVID-19 and provide information on what to do if you’re travelling soon. What is the novel coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause illness in people and animals. Infections from coronaviruses can vary in severity from the common cold, which causes mild illness, to more severe forms such ...

Aerial view of flooded houses

Polio: Still a global threat?

Many of us think of polio as a disease belonging to another era. In the early 20th century, it was one of the most feared diseases in North America. Thanks to the discovery of the polio vaccine, cases haven’t been seen in Canada since 1977 and 1979 in the United States. Today, the disease is 99.9% eradicated thanks to tireless global efforts, but without total elimination it continues to be a threat in the world’s most vulnerable regions. In fact, in 2019 we saw concerning increases in polio outbreaks, with cases reported from some countries that hadn’t seen cases for decades. So, what can we expect for 2020? In this blog, we look at polio, why outbreaks spiked in ...

Mosquito

Zika Virus: Is it still a risk?

For many of us, the Zika Virus epidemic of 2016-17 seems like a distant memory. But at the time, the disease received widespread global news coverage, changed travel plans and the tourism sector, and most of all, had significant, life-long effects on the health of infected children and families. And then suddenly, it was gone. Case numbers dwindled, panic subsided, and other news stories took the forefront. But did the virus really disappear? For World Mosquito Day this year, we’re exploring how the Aedes mosquito (responsible for transmitting Zika) caused an international health crisis. We’ll also be looking at the current level of Zika Virus risk and how travellers can stay protected. Understanding Zika Zika Virus is primarily transmitted ...

Map of Africa and Europe with flags

Outbreak roundup: Measles, Hepatitis A, Ebola and Nipah Virus

Here at IAMAT, we update our country health advice every day to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information on health risks around the world. To help you travel better, here’s what you need to know about ongoing outbreaks: Measles in Europe The Measles outbreak in Europe is cause for concern. Since early 2017, there has been an increase in Measles cases which has affected 1 in 4 European countries and caused over 20,000 infections, including 35 deaths. Countries with the largest outbreaks in 2018 include Romania, France, Italy, and Greece. Measles is a highly contagious virus that can be spread easily through coughing and sneezing, as well as direct contact with an infected person’s saliva or nasal secretions. ...

Map of Yellow Fever risk areas from IAMAT's World Immunization Chart (March 2018)

World Immunization Week: Yellow Fever updates and news

In celebration of World Immunization Week, we highlight the essential nature of vaccines by exploring some recent news and updates for the Yellow Fever vaccine. A combination of climate change, urbanization, and increases in international air travel have accelerated the global spread of many mosquito-borne viruses including Yellow Fever, Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya. No antiviral therapy exists for Yellow Fever, but the infection can be prevented with a vaccine. Despite this, a global vaccine shortage has made managing the disease a challenge. As responsible travellers, we have an important role to play in preventing the spread of Yellow Fever and many other vaccine-preventable diseases. Yellow Fever Yellow Fever is a viral infection transmitted to humans by daytime biting Aedes ...