TravelTalkRADIO March 23, 2014
Contributor to TravelTalkRADIO and BusinessTravelRADIO
Kate Spruit-McGoff Nurse Consultant for the
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s Travelers’ Health Branch
Center for Disease Control explains
Travel Health Notices given to travelers
Kate Spruit-McGoff joins Sandy for an interesting discussion
about the CDC criteria regarding posting health notices. Kate
is a Nurse Consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s Travelers’ Health Branch. She is also a Lieutenant
in the United States Public Health Service.
Her core work for CDC includes researching and developing
travel notices, writing website content, and clinical education.
She is a board member of the American Travel Health Nurses
Association (ATHNA) and chair of ATHNA’s Communication
What are the CDC Travel Notices?CDC posts travel health
notices about disease outbreaks, major
disasters, and international gatherings, such as religious or
The notices include information about the situation or health risk,
who is affected and how travelers can protect their health.
How does CDC determine when to post a notice?
CDC monitors disease outbreaks
and other situations around the world.
We use standard criteria to evaluate
situations and determine whether
or not a notice is warranted.
TH reports on unusual or unexpected
situations that are likely to affect travelers
or to spread internationally.
Travel notices are reserved for unusual
situations, but expected disease
risks are explained at the CDC Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/travel
Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
Alert Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
Watch Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions
advice about how travelers can protect themselves.
For example, a Level 1 Watch advises travelers to
“Practice Usual Precautions.” These usual precautions would be following the same healthy habits recommended for all travelers for that destination, such as washing your hands or avoiding mosquito bites.
A Level 2 Alert advises travelers to “Practice Enhanced Precautions.”These enhanced precautions would not normally be recommended for that destination and could include actions such as getting a vaccine or taking a medication.
A Level 3 Warning advises travelers to “Avoid Nonessential Travel.” This level of a travel health notice recommends that travelers avoid traveling to the destination unless absolutely necessary.
Warnings are used rarely and only in the most serious circumstances.