UPDATE: Travel Alert Raised To Level 2 For Japan
UPDATE: A new Level 2 Travel Alert has been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness in Japan on February 22, 2020.
This elevated Travel Alert for Japan is related to the person-to-person spreading of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the related COVID-19 disease.
Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel, says the CDC.
Previously, on February 20th, Japan reported the 93rd case of SARS-CoV-2 infections outside the passengers and crew associated with the cruise ship Diamond Princess.
And during a press conference, Japan confirmed 2 Japanese citizens who were aboard the quarantined cruise ship docked near Tokyo had died.
Including the cruise ship cases currently reported, the total number of novel coronavirus cases has passed 700 in Japan during 2020.
Previously, on February 18, 2020, the CDC published this statement, ‘While the quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship potentially slowed the transmission of the COVID-19 disease, it may not have been sufficient to prevent additional transmission.’
‘Therefore, to protect the health of the American public, all passengers and crew of the ship have been placed under travel restrictions, preventing them from returning to the USA for at least 14 days after they had left the Diamond Princess.’
However, the CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Japan, at this time.
But, Japan has begun reducing participation in sporting events to mitigate the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, such as the Tokyo Marathon's decision to only include elite competitors.
Japan welcomes about 30 million international visitors each year. And, it is scheduled to be the host country for the 2020 Summer Olympics this July.
Japan is an island country with a population of 126 million citizens located in East Asia. It is bordered by the Sea of Japan (East Sea) to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east.
If you do travel to Japan, the CDC suggests you take the following protective steps:
- Do not travel while sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
If you need to seek medical advice, call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell the staff about your recent travel to Japan.
Additionally, the CDC says healthcare providers should obtain a detailed travel history for patients returning from Japan with fever or acute respiratory symptoms.
Furthermore, Japan is confronting both measles and rubella outbreaks during 2020.
A full list of CDC recommended travel vaccinations when visiting Japan can be found here.
International travel alerts are published by Vax-Before-Travel.