TRAVEL ALERT – INFORMATION ON THE ZIKA VIRUS
The Zika virus has been reported throughout parts of the Caribbean and the United States. Zika is a viral disease, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also the insect vector for Dengue and Chikungunya. The symptoms are also very similar to these diseases and include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, nausea, and rash. There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika and symptoms last approximately four to seven days. Complications are rare and no deaths due to Zika have been recorded.
To aid in protecting yourself
Apply insect repellents on exposed skin liberally
- When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
- If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito net
The CDC from the United States has recommended that women who are pregnant and or those planning to become pregnant avoid travel to areas where there is known outbreaks. interCaribbean Airways will undertake to refund those customers whose travel plans must change due to pregnancy on providing documentation and contact with customerservice@interCaribbean.com.
Staying healthy when you travel, whether with us or a partner airline, on a short or long flight is important, and with this in mind interCaribbean Airways has prepared the following information to help give you some tips and advice.
If a passenger has a significant preexisting illness or an unstable medical condition a physician should be consulted before traveling by air. This is particularly true for those with heart or lung disease. Other significant illnesses would include a history of deep venous thrombosis, seizure disorder, stroke and diabetes. In such case your physician may want to do a pre-flight evaluation of your health to travel. Vaccinations and other travel health requirements should also be checked well in advance of travel abroad. If the physician has fully reviewed the prospective traveler’s condition and there is any question regarding suitability to fly or any special requests for assistance, let us know in advance of your travel. For those with a pre-existing condition we recommend the wearing of a medical bracelet.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
it is suspected that long periods of immobility, such as sitting for many hours at a time, may induce this condition. This can occur in a car, train, airplane, and bus or in the office. For air travel, the following information is provided: (1) Place small bags under the seat in front of to avoid reducing the ability to move your legs. (2) Exercise your legs by flexing and extending the ankles at regular intervals while seated. (3) Walk about the cabin periodically when possible. (4) Do not sleep in cramped positions and avoid use of sleep aids. (5) Drink adequate amounts of water and fruit juices to maintain good hydration. Avoid or minimize dehydrating drinks such as alcohol or dehydrating drinks. (6) Consider the use of compression stockings.
Persons affected by diabetes should carry all medications (as well as needles syringes, blood glucose monitors, sugared snacks, and a device to store needles, lances) in carry-on luggage and not in checked luggage. For security reasons when traveling to the USA refer to the Transportation Security Administration web site. Click here to view the TSA blog for guidance in carrying these items.
Use caution if you decide to drink alcoholic beverages when traveling by air. Alcohol can dehydrate you and will interfere with your ability to sleep. It is prudent to avoid or minimize alcohol consumption during air travel. The effects of Alcohol consumed on the ground effectively double when flying. Your appearance of having consumed to much alcohol could lead to denial of travel.
For those susceptible to motion sickness the following suggestions are offered: (1) Request a seat over the wing. (2) Request a window seat (and gaze at the horizon) (3) Direct cool, ventilated air onto the face. (4) Avoid excess liquids and gas producing foods (5) Avoid alcohol for 24 hours prior to flight & in-flight
Neurology and Mental Health
Persons with uncontrolled or frequent seizures should not travel by commercial airliners if possible. If individuals with infrequent seizures or those susceptible to unconsciousness or fainting for any reason must travel, they should travel with a companion. Take any essential medications in carry-on bags rather than checked luggage.
The following are some specific travel recommendations for heart patients: (1) Carry sufficient quantities of cardiac medications for the entire trip and keep in carry-on luggage. (2) Keep a separate list of medications including name of prescribing physician with phone number, dosing intervals, and tablet size in the event that medications are lost. (3) Adjust dosing intervals in order to maintain dosing frequency if crossing time zones. (4) Contact the airline concerning needs for special diet or a wheelchair (5) Limit walking around, especially at altitude
Ear Nose & Throat
In order to avoid problems, air travel should be postponed if you have an allergy or respiratory infection. Further, all air travel passengers should ask their physician to teach them the techniques for equalizing sinus and middle ear air pressures. This is called Valsalva maneuver (holding your nose shut with your fingers while forcefully exhaling against a closed mouth. Chewing gum and swallowing may also help.
interCaribbean Airways recognizes some customers may have allergies to peanuts. We cannot guarantee that any food products that may be served on interCaribbean Airways flight or brought on-board and consumed by another customer may have been packed or handled in a facility that processes peanuts or other nut products and thereby contain trace elements. We encourage our customers to consider taking all medical precautions necessary to avoid any exposure.
interCaribbean Airways carries pets in cabin (specifically cat and dogs only), and allows working service animals to assist those customers with disabilities. Should you have allergies related to pet dander, ensure you are seated away from the pet or service animal being transported. NOTE that even without pets traveling on a flight, passengers with pets in their homes may carry the dander on their clothing.