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Video » A quick ride through the Alps of northern Italy

WHO Video » Q&A How to protect yourself when travelling during the coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak

Dr. Carmen Dolea, Head of the International Health Regulation Secretariat at the World Health Organization (WHO), answers questions about staying safe while travelling. If you are travelling or attending any large public gathering, these are the latest recommendations from the WHO »

 

WHO advice for international traffic in relation to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV with Dr Carmen Dolea, Head, IHR Secretariat at the World Health Organization

So far, the main clinical signs and symptoms reported in this outbreak include fever, difficulty in breathing, and chest radiographs showing bilateral lung infiltrates. As of 27 January 2020, human-to-human transmission has been confirmed largely in Wuhan city, but also some other places in China and internationally. Not enough is known about the epidemiology of 2019-nCoV to draw definitive conclusions about the full clinical features of disease, the intensity of the human-to-human transmission, and the original source of the outbreak.

International travellers: practice usual precautions

Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to the Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). In case of symptoms suggestive of acute respiratory illness before, during or after travel, the travellers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share travel history with their health care provider.

Public health authorities should provide to travellers information to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections, via health practitioners, travel health clinics, travel agencies, conveyance operators and at Points of Entry. Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) advice for the public published on the WHO website contains WHO standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses, to protect yourself and others from getting sick, to stay healthy while travelling.

WHO technical guidance on surveillance and case definitions, laboratory guidance, clinical management for suspected novel coronavirus, home care for patients with suspected novel coronavirus, infection prevention and control, risk communications, disease commodity package, and reducing transmission from animals to humans is available on the WHO website.

Watch » Go Solo – Jenny Tough

Jenny Tough via YouTube »

Travelling solo is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can be scary to start. I did my first solo bike adventure when I was 21, and while I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and broke down (physically, mechanically, emotionally, etc.) a lot, it was one of the most important growth experiences of my adult life.

This December I went to the Nepalese Himalayas on my Shand Bahookie for a solo adventure. It didn’t all go to plan, but I had an amazing time. And it was still an important growth experience. It always is.

More » Jenny Tough

If you can’t fly then run,
If you can’t run then walk,
If you can’t walk then crawl,
But whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

― Martin Luther King Jr.

Dramatic footage from Iceland

Via Hyte Photography in Berlin

Six rowers become the first to cross the infamous Drake Passage unassisted

Six men, rowed their 29-foot (9-meter) rowboat for 13 days, to become the first to cross the Drake Passage unassisted.

Amanda Lee Myers, Associated Press via Time »

Six men fought for 13 days to make history, becoming the first people to traverse the infamous Drake Passage with nothing other than sheer manpower.

They dodged icebergs, held their breaths as giant whales breached near their small boat and rode building-sized waves while rowing 24 hours a day toward Antarctica.

The team of men from four countries finished crossing the Drake Passage on Wednesday in just under two weeks after pushing off from the southern tip of South America.

Travelling for the holidays? Here’s how to not get sick

Michele Cohen Marill, writing for Wired »

The hazard isn’t where you might suspect it is. Mingling in the airport with hordes of travelers—grabbing empty bins in security, touching hand rails on escalators, ordering food at counters, and sitting near the gates—is far riskier than breathing air near someone you hear sneezing or coughing a few rows away.

Airplanes have been designed to pump fresh, filtered air through the cabin ever since the days when smoking was allowed on board. (Otherwise all those planes would have been worse than the smokiest dive bar.) Commercial jets pull in half their cabin air from the high-altitude environment, where it is cold and sterile, while the rest of it is cabin air recirculated through HEPA filters.

Air exchanges occur 10 to 15 times an hour, and the air flows laterally across the row, not from the front of the plane to the rear. Because of the way the air loops, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigates potential infectious transmission on a plane, public health officers generally contact passengers in a zone just two rows in front of and behind the sick passenger.

Read the whole article on Wired »

Arthur C. Brooks walked across Spain. Here’s what he found.

Arthur C. Brooks, writing in the Washington Post »

But the pilgrims still come, in larger and larger numbers. If not explicitly the divine, what are they seeking? There are definite worldly benefits to pilgrimage. Almost everyone loses weight, for example (although not like I did — starting my Camino on the heels of a bout of stomach flu and thus in a radically fasted state, I lost 10 pounds in a week). Some treat it like a physical-endurance challenge, such as the shredded and tanned couple we met in Santiago de Compostela who had completed the entire 500-mile walk, starting in France, in just 24 days.

Some seek relief from emotional torment, and there is evidence they can find it: A study published in the journal Psychological Medicine reported that those who went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, (another major Catholic pilgrimage destination) experienced a significant decrease in anxiety and depression, sustained for at least 10 months after the pilgrims had returned.

This ramen noodle joint, housed inside a defunct used-car dealership, is Japan’s most surprising Michelin eatery

Nancy Singleton Hachisu via the BBC »

Located in Tottori, Japan’s least-populated prefecture, Hot Air Ramen (formally named Tanreitori Ramen Hot Air) is the brainchild of Katsumi Yoshida, a mechanic and car salesman turned cook. In 2012, Yoshida, an amateur noodle enthusiast, added a tiny kitchen in an alcove of his small used-car dealership, placed some tables in the waiting room and began offering ramen to customers.

In 2015, he scaled down his auto shop and officially opened Hot Air Ramen to the public, so named for the famous hot springs in the area. And then last year, something rather unexpected happened: Hot Air Ramen was designated as a “Bib Gourmand” eatery (which designates a place that serves “exceptional good food at moderate prices”) in the Michelin Guide Kyoto – Osaka + Tottori 2019 edition.

Read the whole article on the BBC »

Travellers from Ontario will want to know that the province is about to scrap out-of-country emergency health care coverage

Carola Vyhnak, writing in the Toronto Star »

The province says it’s cancelling the existing “inefficient” program because of the $2.8-million cost of administering $9 million in emergency medical coverage abroad each year. OHIP’s reimbursements also tended to offset only a fraction of the actual expenses.

Without private insurance, travellers can face “catastrophically large bills” for medical care, warns Ministry of Health spokesperson David Jensen, who “strongly encourages” people to purchase adequate coverage.

Read the whole article at the Toronto Star »

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