The Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Travelers' Health,
National Center for Infectious Diseases, is announcing new, scalable definitions
for travel notices about disease occurrences abroad. The purpose is to refine
the announcements so they are more easily understood by international travelers,
U.S. citizens living abroad, health-care providers, and the general public.
In addition, defining and describing levels of risk will clarify the need
for travelers to take recommended preventive measures.
From a public health perspective, scalable definitions will enhance
the usefulness of the travel notices, enabling them to be tailored readily
in response to events and circumstances. A complete description of the definitions
and criteria for issuing and removing travel notices at each of the four levels
is available at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.
The new notices are as follows:
In the News. This notice provides information about sporadic cases of
disease or an occurrence of disease of public health concern affecting a traveler
or travel destination. At this level, the risk for an individual traveler
does not differ from the usual risk in that area.
Outbreak Notice. Information is provided regarding a disease outbreak
in a limited geographic area or setting. The risk for travelers is defined
and limited, and the notice reminds travelers about standard or enhanced travel
recommendations such as vaccination.
Travel Health Precaution. Specific information is provided to travelers
regarding a disease outbreak of greater scope and over a larger geographic
area, aimed at reducing the risk for infection. This precaution also provides
guidance to travelers about what to do if they become ill while in the area.
At this level, CDC does not recommend against travel to a specific area, but
might recommend limiting exposure to a defined setting (e.g., poultry farms
or health-care facilities).
Travel Health Warning. A recommendation is issued against nonessential
travel to an area because a disease of public health concern is expanding
beyond the locales or populations that were affected initially. The purpose
of a travel warning is to reduce the volume of traffic to affected areas,
limiting the risk for spreading the disease to unaffected areas.
New Definitions for Travel Notices Regarding Diseases Abroad. JAMA. 2004;291(23):2812. doi:10.1001/jama.291.23.2812-b