While the State Department issues travel notices to those thinking of traveling abroad about possible dangerous political situations and criminal activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tasked with telling travelers about current health concerns such as disease outbreaks around the world. (See what countries are doing to address the next pandemic.)
24/7 Tempo reviewed travel advisories issued by the CDC, current as of early May 2023 (meaning that, although some advisories date back as far as fall of 2021, they are the most recent issued by the agency). There are three levels of advisories: watch level 1: practice usual precautions for this destination, such as being up-to-date on all recommended vaccines; alert level 2: practice enhanced precautions for this destination; and warning level 3: avoid all non-essential travel to this destination because the outbreak is of high risk to travelers and no precautions are available to protect against the identified increased risk.
On May 4, the World Health Organization ended the global emergency status for COVID-19, more than three years after it was originally declared. While that’s good news, there are still areas of the world where American travelers need to be wary because of possible outbreaks of other serious diseases. Most of these places are in Africa and Asia, but there are also some in the Western Hemisphere.
Nigeria appears four times on the list, twice for watch level 1 (for Lassa fever and Mpox) and twice for alert level 2 (for diphtheria and yellow fever). Bangladesh and Pakistan each appear twice here – the former for dengue and Nipah virus disease, the latter for dengue and extensively drug-resistant typhoid fever. (These are the most dangerous diseases you can get on earth.)
Venezuela is the only country on this list with warning level 3 status, because of infectious diseases, including measles, diphtheria, and malaria.
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