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Swine Flu / H1N1 / Travel News / Travel Health / → All Tags
When we roundly mocked H1N1 hysteria last year, we insinuated that it was a conspiracy being waged by US tourism companies. While probably true, that picture was also likely incomplete. Turns out, big pharmaceutical companies were also at least partly to blame. All the rest of what we saidespecially the parts about how swine flu is less dangerous than ordinary fluthat turns out to be absolutely true. Seriously. You can check out the newest findings. Absolutely true.
We really don't mean to sound Pollyannaish about this. Swine flu killed a bunch of people. But the sheer panicfrom China quarantining travelers to Mexico calling off Cinco de Mayowas just silly. Business travelers, who have a stake in evaluating the risk of infection vs. the risk of missing a deal, never paid it much attention. But many tourism destinations were devastated, and they didn't have to be.
Travel Health / H1N1 / Swine Flu / Travel News / → All Tags
We just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a happy National Influenza Vaccination Week. To celebrate, we’re letting you know about the latest findings from smarty-pants scientists. They have figured out some kind of formula to determine how exactly the H1N1 virus can spread in a plane during a transatlantic flight. Everything really depends on the length of the flight, but for the most part, two to 17 people could be infected from just one sick passenger.
In case you want to run your own test studies, researchers at UCLA used the Wells-Riley equation. Apparently this is the standard when it comes to figuring out the extent of outbreaks in enclosed environments. It considers the number of people exposed, respiratory rates, and the concentration of the virus over time. Interesting information, but we’re probably going to leave all the calculations up to the experts.
Why coach passengers are doomed, after the jump.
Pretend for a moment that you fall suddenly ill on a coast-to-coast flight, so ill that the flight crew asks over the PA system for any medical personnel to come and help. A doctor is located, and just when you being to hope that everything will be okay, the man pictured above shows upa reality show plastic surgeon. Sure, Dr. Robert Rey is trained in medicine, but you're not exactly having a breast lift mid-flight.
Dr. Rey, the star of E! Television's hit show "Dr. 90210," was on a flight to Newark on Sunday, when a young girl's troubling sickly appearance necessitated action. After checking out her vitals and symptoms, Dr. Rey feared that this was a case of the dreaded Swine Flu, made even more trying for the fact that the girl was switching planes in Newark to continue on to Scandinavia.
After giving the girl some water and sugar, Dr. Rey could do all he could. He didn't alert airport employees nor did he save the girl's health, but he did reemerge in the news for a little bit, a rush he probably hasn't experienced since he restrained an elderly man trying to rush the cockpit on a flight several years ago. Rey to the Rescue!
[Photo: Sergio Savaman Savarese]
Theme Parks / Disney / Walt Disney World / Florida Travel / Amusement Park Travel / Swine Flu / H1N1 / → All Tags
The holidays are a big time for Walt Disney World. The parks are transformed into a winter wonderland—well, a fake one as they are in Florida after all—and the guests pour in through the turnstiles. Some days the park has to limit guest access because there are just too many tourists dreaming of a holiday photo with Mickey and friends. All these people are starting to worry some, especially if these people are coughing, sneezing, and leaving their germs all over Space Mountain.
Thankfully, Disney is ready to combat the spread of germs, and is hoping that their efforts will be enough to convince people that their park is safe. After all, the threat of catching that pesky H1N1 flu is kind of a downer and not the stuff dreams are made of. Thus, Disney World has ordered about 200,000 hand sanitizers—although we're wondering why they haven’t always had some.
Open Threads / Swine Flu / Travel Health / H1N1 / → All Tags
'Tis the year of the Swine Flu and things just haven't died down like we'd hoped they would. Now that the intense and occasionally fatal flu has affected everyone from D-List celebs to former All-You-Can-Jetters, it's apparent that it's not going anywhere anytime soonor rather, it's going everywhere.
So we want to know: what's been your experience with Swine Flu this year? Have you taken to wearing face masks on flights and in subways or do you scrunch up your nose at those who do? Have you gotten and survived Swine Flu? Has anyone you know been under the weather with it, and if so, where do you think they go it? We're just wondering exactly how prevalent it is in places of travel, versus say at restaurants and in your local bowling alley. Or has your bowling alley had its balls sanitized? Hmm??
Let us know your travel Swine Flu experience in the comments!
· Swine Fly Now Attacking D-List Celebs In Addition To Air Travelers [Jaunted]
· Is Swine Fly Hysteria A US Tourism Conspiracy? [Jaunted]
· Swine Fly Has A Grip On Every Country Except Antarctica [Jaunted]
· Travel Health coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: OhLaLa Mag]
Swine Flu / Travel Health / H1N1 / Celeb Travel / → All Tags
The silent menace is still out there, and it's attacking our celebrities; it's Swine Flu, and so far it's stuck with D-list celebs like Lisa Rinna, Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley of Harry Potter fame), and now Marilyn Manson.
The announcement from the rocker came via his MySpace blog, and here is all of it, short and sweet:
So I have officially been diagnosed, by a real doctor, with THE SWINE FLU. I know everyone will suggest that f***ing a pig is how this disease was obtained. However, the doctor said, my past choices in women have, in 'no way' contributed to... me acquiring this mysterious sickness. Unfortunately, I am going to survive.
Swine Flu / Travel Health / France Travel / Romance Travel / Travel News / H1N1 / Germ Travel / → All Tags
We were going to use a photo of people kissing cheeks, but come on; kitties!
Just when we were coming around to the idea of being rude by not returning handshakes and thereby steering clear of Swine Flu, the French had to go and ruin all our fun. You see, they've reminded us that the traditional double-cheek-kisscalled la biseis also pretty unsanitary if you don't want to catch the H1N1 virus, especially if you're greeting someone who has just traveled and may be exposed.
We can't shake hands and we can't cheek-kiss; what will we will do? Thank heavens there's still the good old rump-pat, and the "hey-yo" wave. We do feel badly for the Frenchies though:
In schools, teachers are telling their young charges to forgo the bise, and instead capture their displays of affection in heart-shaped greetings to slip into 'bise boxes.' It is restraint that is easier to sell to young students than their older brothers and sisters. Some things, however, are finding an accepting audience: maskswhich do a pretty good job of discouraging just about any sort of kissing.
While the rest of the world prepares for another season of hysteria, some business travelers seem to be keeping a level-headed perspective about Swine Flu. A recent survey conducted by the National Roads and Motorists' Association concluded that H1N1 just isn't a consideration for many travelers, and that it ranks way below other factors like the recession (or getting a refill on that in-flight cocktail).
This will undoubtedly be welcome news for the airline and tourism industries, both of which got hit badly the last time swine flu went around. In a way it's also news that makes sense. Last season's full-blown panic mostly fizzled out into a few runny noses, so people are already a little immuneno pun intendedfrom freaking out. Travelers seem unwilling to be thrown off their schedules again, though all that could change if the impending outbreak gets nasty.
At this point in the Swine Flu game, you have to worry more about the situation in your destination than the flu itself; some countries are still quarantining travelers showing flu-like symptoms. These include Singapore, India, Egypt and China, which detained 1,800 Americans this summer although only 200 of whom were sick. Cancel your Mecca pilgrimage plans as well since Saudi Arabia is on the verge of requiring certificate proof of flu shot, and Iran has banned all trips to Mecca.
The Ottawa Citizen makes a valid point in favor of giving up on worrying about Swine Flu:
Another reason not to avoid travel: The virus has spread into practically every part of the world already (though not Antarctica.) You can't avoid it by staying home, and you won't contaminate a foreign country by going there.
Celeb Travel / Swine Flu / Jack Nicholson / French Riviera / France Travel / Monoco / Cap d'Ail / → All Tags
Nothing stops Jack Nicholson from having a good time, not his age, his moobs or even the swine flu. Jack is continuing his French getaway this week in Cap d'Ail, outside of Monaco, where he was spotted snorkeling, slathering on sunscreen and jumping off of a boat with his kids yesterday. All that fun must have tuckered the old guy out though because he was also caught sleeping on a random plot of sidewalk grass. Hey, everyone needs a good power nap now and then.
Hopefully his sudden sleepiness wasn't an early symptom of the Swine Flu. Last week, 64 cases of the flu were confirmed at the Centre Mediterranean Language School in Cap d'Ail though most of the students were sent home and weren't considered to be in any serious danger.
Just when you thought it was safe to resume traveling to Mexico and taking cruises comes a story about another outbreak of the summer's biggest vacation-ruiner: Swine Flu.
Right now, off the coast of the French Riviera, the Voyager of the Seas from Royal Caribbean is experiencing an explosion of the sickness among 60 of their crew members, with another 70 showing symptoms of swine flu. The first 60 have been confined to their cabinsalthough it's common knowledge that cruise crew share cabinswhile the ship's 3,600 passengers head ashore to party in Nice and Monaco.
Although it's not known if the passengers are aware of the news of their sick ship, the loss of so many crew members from their posts is no doubt hurting the ship's service. We just hope that the virus doesn't use the rest of its vacation at sea to infect the rest of the crew and spread its way onto passengers. Apparently the crew began showing signs of swine flu after the cruise depart Barcelona earlier in the week; so now it's the Mexican/Spanish Swine Flu?
· 60 crew have swine flu on cruise ship off France [USA Today]
· Will Flu-Free Guarantees Lure Travelers Back to Mexico? [Jaunted]
· Cruise Coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Eric Gaillard, Reuters]
We're already well acquainted with good weather vacation guarantees, but now it seems that desperate destinations are jumping aboard the no flu guarantee bandwagon.
Desperate to get travelers to again view Mexico as a safe tourism destination, twenty coastal resorts have launched a "flu-free guarantee." All you need do is book an upcoming trip to any of the resorts, which are mostly in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, and if you do happen to get swine flu (and have the bloodwork to prove it), the consortium will pay for the entirety of your next three vacations.
The CDC lifted their travel ban to Mexico last week, and most countries have now resumed flights to the country, although travelers are still understandably hesitant to return south of the border.
So is Memorial Day weekend the time to return to Mexico? The prices say yes. Unlike just about anywhere else in the world, you can book a plane ticket to Mexico right now and still get a cheap fare for this weekend. Searching on Kayak, we found Friday-to-Monday roundtrip flights to Cancun for $281 from New York, $316 from Chicago, and $363 from LA. Get to clicking, and leave those flu masks at home.