2009 Holiday Travel & Swine Flu

UPDATE: Here’s the official word from the CDC on H1N1 virus & travel.

Current Situation

public domain photo

Due to the circulation of 2009 H1N1 influenza in the United States and many other countries, airport staff in some foreign countries may check the health of arriving passengers. Many other countries, including Japan and China, are screening arriving passengers for symptoms of the flu.

If you are sick with symptoms of flu-like illness, you should not travel. These symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

The United States is not screening travelers who arrive from other countries or depart for other countries.

In other countries that are conducting entry screening for 2009 H1N1 flu, travelers may be checked for fever and other symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu, and their travel may be delayed. Consult the embassy of the country, or countries, in your travel itinerary for information about entry screening procedures (see Websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions for contact information).

When you travel internationally from the United States, officials in other countries may ask you to:

  • Pass by a scanning device that checks your temperature. (The device may look like an airport metal detector, a camera, or a handheld device.) In some countries this may be done before you disembark at your destination.
  • Have your temperature taken with an oral or ear thermometer
  • Fill out a sheet of questions about your health
  • Review information about the symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu
  • Give your address, phone number, and other contact information
  • Be quarantined for a period of time if a passenger on your flight is found to have symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu
  • Contact health authorities in the country you are visiting to let them know if you become ill

U.S. Department of State


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