Tag: Health

America’s HIV Travel Ban Ends Today

As of today, the ban on HIV-positive visitors to the U.S. is no longer in effect—and the first passengers to take advantage of the change will soon be en route from the Netherlands. Steve Ralls writes in the Huffington Post: “The arrival of [Amsterdam-JFK passengers] Clemens Ruland and Hugo Bausch will also signal the end of a shameful and discriminatory policy that has exacted a heavy price on our country’s reputation in the scientific community and kept countless individuals—both straight and gay—separated from their loved ones.” (Via The Daily Dish)

How I Stay Healthy When I Travel

How I Stay Healthy When I Travel Photo by jul89 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

On pacing yourself and being pro-active in Europe

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Malaria in post-Civil War America, Mapped

We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?

Trekking the High Atlas, Taking the Pain

Trekking the High Atlas, Taking the Pain iStockPhoto

A fall in Morocco's rugged mountains left Jeffrey Tayler writhing in agony -- and wondering whether to abandon his journey

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World Travel Watch: Monster Crocs in Australia, Bridge Collapses in Costa Rica and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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World Travel Watch: Monster Shark Off Australia, Deadly Driving Games in Bulgaria and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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World Travel Watch: Dengue in Nicaragua, Instability in Bosnia and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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Fallows: ‘How I Survived China’

The Atlantic’s former China correspondent reflects on the health issues he faced as an expat amid the “ochre skies and suspect sanitation of China.” The air quality there can be so bad, one doctor told Fallows, “I encourage people with children not to consider extended tours in China. Those little lungs.”

What will future air quality be like in China? In Beijing, at least, it’s already improving.

Should Airlines Change the ‘Lap Child’ Policy?

Beth Blair of The Vacation Gals thinks so. Her call for a ban is pretty convincing.

Simon Calder: Travel Industry Needs an ‘Outbreak of Common Sense’

Simon Calder: Travel Industry Needs an ‘Outbreak of Common Sense’ Photo by Sarihuella via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Sarihuella via Flickr (Creative Commons)

In the wake of last week’s news about British airlines requiring doctor’s notes from passengers with potential swine flu symptoms, the Independent’s Simon Calder calls for some common sense. “A decade ago the tourism industry worked itself into a frenzy predicting the likely effects of the “Millennium Bug”, when the clocks driving primitive computers ticked over from year 99 to 00,” he writes. Of course, we made it through that scare. But then, he goes on: “[J]ust when you thought it was safe to go on holiday, the front-page headlines this week threaten the plans of anyone with a sniffle.”

Calder finds the common sense he’s seeking from, of all people, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, who offered reassurances that his airline wouldn’t be hunting down every passenger who sneezes in the security line: “Our staff are not medical experts,” he said.

Study: Long-Distance Travel Triples the Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis

The dangers have long been suspected. Now, apparently for the first time, there’s research to support the theory. A report in the Annals of Internal Medicine says anyone flying for longer than four hours has increased risk of blood clotting known as deep vein thrombosis. The risk is three times greater than it is for someone not traveling. USA Today and Reuters explain the science. 

Experts suggest long-distance travelers lessen the risk by, among other things, drinking water and getting up and walking around the plane every now and then, lest they suffer like Dick Cheney.

AIDS Levy for Air Travelers?

There’s a proposal in the works to add a special tax, marked for efforts to fight AIDS in developing countries, to all flight purchases in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany. A similar tax has been in place in France for three years and has raised nearly $1 billion. The Financial Times has the details on what the plan might look like.

Welcome to Hotel Quarantine

American media executive/blogger Mike Su just wrapped up five days in hotel quarantine in Beijing, after flying in from L.A. seated near someone with flu-like symptoms. Bad luck, but at least he used his time in the big house productively, chronicling The Seven People You’ll Meet in Hotel Quarantine. Yep, a few of these characters sound achingly familiar.

Interview With Dr. Mike: Swine Flu and Travel

How safe is it to travel? Jim Benning asks an influenza expert and the host of a new Travel Channel show for his perspective.

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Noel Gallagher on ‘This Swine Flu Malarky’

Noel Gallagher on ‘This Swine Flu Malarky’ Photo by Sarihuella via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Sarihuella via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Some days, I honestly don’t know how we ever got along without celebrity bloggers weighing in on the news of the day. The latest celeb-turned-citizen-journalist? Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher, who reports from the Caracas airport about swine flu paranoia.

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Sneeze Your Way to Savings?

Sneeze Your Way to Savings? Photo by jurvetson via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by jurvetson via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Remember when I told you guys how many deals there were to be had in Thailand? Well, the Practical Traveler now reports they’re even better thanks to the unrest there. If you don’t mind a little protesting, then run for the savings! The Anantara properties Michelle mentions, particularly at the Golden Triangle, are some of the nicest in the country. 

Same goes for travel and the SCHWEINE-GRIPPE—I use the German term for swine flu because it sounds much scarier that way.

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Still No Word on What Caused Scabies Outbreak Among Boston TSA Staff

Still No Word on What Caused Scabies Outbreak Among Boston TSA Staff Photo of Pohnpei's airport by Rob Verger
Photo of Pohnpei’s airport by Rob Verger

In late March, five TSA workers at Boston’s Logan Airport were infected with scabies, a nasty little bug that literally lives and breeds underneath the host’s skin.

The incident merited a posting on the TSA’s blog, reassuring passengers that there was basically no chance they could have contracted the bugs by going through security. (One of the many reasons why it would have been practically impossible for a passenger to become infected this way is that the TSA screeners wear gloves, and scabies is usually only spread through direct skin-to-skin contact.)

When I contacted the TSA this week to see if they had any leads in how the outbreak began, Ann Davis, the Public Affairs Officer for the TSA in Boston, said via email:

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Smoke-Free Hotels On the Rise

AAA now counts more than 8,000 smoke-free travel lodgings in the United States, USA Today reports. Most amazing: The number has more than tripled since 2005.

Health Experts: Go Easy on the Incense

Photo by alexik via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

The use of incense dates back thousands of years, yet when it comes to incense in American cities these days, I associate it with Indian restaurants, yoga studios and head shops hawking bongs and tie-dye T-shirts. I also think of the glory days of the hippie trail, when young Western kids set off through Asia and, as Rory MacLean writes, “lit sticks of incense, strummed their guitars and read another chapter of Siddhartha, then stepped off the bus to help push the decrepit vehicle over the Hindu Kush.”

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Headed to Angkor Wat? Beware the Dengue.

World Travel Watch notes that, although dengue fever cases in Cambodia are down from last year, “the risk is still high in major tourist areas, especially Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat.” Dengue, of course, is spread by mosquitos that are no doubt loving monsoon season in Southeast Asia. How I hate monsoon season. As we’ve noted, dengue is expected to rise around the world as temperatures increase, and dengue should be taken seriously: The less common hemorrhagic dengue can be fatal.