UPDATE: Swine Flu & Holiday Travel

My earlier report about the swine flu and traveling this holiday season got a lot of interest. So here is the latest work from the CDC and the FAA regarding travels and the H1N1 virus this winter.

PD photo. Thank you pdimages.com

First some relatively good news. Doctors are reporting a downturn in swine flu this month. This despite the roughly 3900 who have died from the disease in the US thus far. However, some doctors say the virus could in waves this season, so take all precautions to avoid getting sick.

NOTE: While the airlines do not have a specific statement on the H1N1 virus, they are taking note of how the so-called pandemic plays out. No airline wants to be the carrier (literally!) of those sick people flying hub to hub. Remember, some experts claim the virus can be caught from 10 fee away!

ALL GET OUT travel suggestions:

  1. Get the vaccine if you can. It will make you feel better knowing you are covered. We hear so much about how people cannot get it (excluding bankrupted stock brokers!), but in my experience this is somewhat of a myth. Many doctor’s offices DO have it, so just ask around. We got ours from- not our pediatrician or GP- but from our ear nose and throat guy. They had plenty of it, so ask around- you might be surprised to lean it is available in places you hadn’t thought of before.
  2. Always read the CDC’s webpage, www.cdc.gov/swineflu, just before leaving home. It could have valuable updates (of course Dear Readers, I will help in all that I can, but I’m just one person).
  3. Consider investing in travel insurance, or buying the refundable ticket. Every authority (FAA, CDC, etc.) will suggest you do not fly if you are sick, or eliciting flu-like symptoms.
  4. If you’ve already purchased your ticket and do come down with a flu, swine or any other strain, talk to the airlines. They don’t want you flying either. A doctor’s note might be all you need to waive any change fee they attempt to charge.
  5. Know this: if you decided to try flying despite your outwardly apparent flu-like symptoms, airlines reserve the right to kick you off the flight, sighting health concerns. They can do it right then and there. In this case, please refer to the above!
  6. Carry hand sanitizer. You can probably skip the surgeon’s mask.
  7. If you fly a lot, or you are in the travel industry, you should be aware of these industry guidelines.

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