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Air TravelPrevention & Treatment: Travel Advice

 • When to avoid travel
 • Health screenings at airports
 • Be prepared while traveling
 • Before, during and after your trip

There are currently no flu-based travel restrictions, but it is wise to know conditions where you are traveling, how to protect against getting the flu and what to do if you become sick during or after travel.

When to Avoid Travel

If you are sick with symptoms of influenza-like illness, you should not travel. These symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100°F or 37.8°C) or signs of a fever (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®).

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Health Screenings at Airports

Due to the outbreak of H1N1 (Swine) flu occurring in the United States and many other countries, airport staff in some countries may check the health of arriving passengers. Travelers from the United States arriving in other countries may be checked for fever and other symptoms of H1N1 flu, and their travel may be delayed.

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

  • Pass through a scanning device that checks your temperature. (The device may look like an airport metal detector, a camera, or a handheld device.)

  • 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 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 H1N1 flu

  • Contact health authorities in the country you are visiting to let them know if you become ill

If you have a fever or respiratory symptoms or are suspected to have H1N1 flu based on screening, you may be asked to:

  • Be isolated from other people until you are well

  • Have a medical examination

  • Take a rapid flu test (which consists of a nasal swab sample)

  • Be hospitalized and given medical treatment, if you test positive for H1N1 flu

Please note that the U.S. Department of State usually cannot interfere with the rights of other countries to screen airline passengers entering or exiting their countries, nor can it influence the number of days in quarantine.

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Be Prepared While Traveling

Travel Safety
To help travelers avoid the flu during the 2009-2010 flu season, the CDC has launched its largest ever public awareness campaign about staying healthy while traveling. Visit their campaign page materials (Site exit link) for simple steps you can take!

Be aware of outbreak information in your destination
For the most up-to-date information about where cases of 2009 H1N1 flu are occurring:

Consult the embassy of your destination country
For international travel, consult the embassy of the country, or countries, in your travel itinerary for information about entry screening procedures (see web sites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates and Diplomatic Missions for contact information Site exit link).

Pack a travel health kit (Site exit link) that contains basic first aid and medical supplies.

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During and After Your Trip

During your trip, follow local guidelines and practice healthy habits:

  • Be isolated from other people until you are well

  • Have a medical examination

  • Take a rapid flu test (which consists of a nasal swab sample)

  • Continue medical treatment, if you test positive for H1N1 flu

What to do if you feel sick:

  • It is expected that most people will recover without needing medical care. If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, seek medical care.

  • A U.S. consular officer can help you find local medical care in a foreign country. To contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country you are visiting, call Overseas Citizens Services at:

    1-888-407-4747 if calling from the U.S. or Canada,

    00-1-202-501-4444 if calling from other countries, or

    Visit Web sites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Mission (Site exit link) to find the contact information for the local U.S. Embassy of the country you are visiting.

  • Follow all local health recommendations. For example, if you are sick, you may be asked to put on a surgical mask to protect others or to stay in your home or hotel to prevent the spread of H1N1 flu.

Tips for after your trip:

  • Closely monitor your health for 7 days.

  • If you become ill with fever and other symptoms of H1N1 flu (Site exit link) such as a cough, sore throat, and possibly vomiting and diarrhea, seek medical attention if symptoms are severe.

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