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Health & Travel

From vaccines for exotic tropical destinations to simply keeping in shape on the road, here's a forum for everything that concerns two of the things nearest to our hearts: travel & staying healthy.

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Comment by David Paul Appell on May 13, 2009 at 9:42am
Re swine flu and travel, I just caught this today on eTN.com:

"Adding to the consumer and business uncertainty and the loss of confidence, the potential Influenza A (H1N1) pandemic has created an increasing degree of confusion around the issue of whether it is safe to travel. UNWTO (the UN World Tourism Organization) has been very active in pressing for a clear WHO position and is working closely with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to ensure a balanced decision-making process.

Within the UN system, UNWTO has a direct line to express the interests of tourism and travel. At this stage, the extent of the spread, sustainability, and the complete health implications of the virus remain uncertain. Given the increased public awareness, engagement, and the resulting elevated concern, calls for the urgent need for response must be viewed in context -- awareness is key, not abrupt and uninformed reactions.

Until now, WHO has seen no reason to close borders or restrict travel. This stance is supported by similar past experiences, which provides no evidence that doing so would stop the spread of the virus. Furthermore, the economic cost would be enormous. WHO goes further and urges states to resist unilateral action and to consult with them before undertaking any such initiative.
UNWTO strongly supports this position and is prepared to face this kind of situation. The organization has formed a dedicated Risk and Crisis Management Section (RCM), established influenza contacts in every member state, launched regional simulation exercises, created the Tourism Emergency Response Network (TERN) with some 20 peak industry organizations, and launched sos.travel as a portal for emergency information for the industry and travelers. In addition, UNWTO is continuing to issue guidance material."
 

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