|For Immediate Release:
May 20, 2004
|Contact: CDC Media Relations
CDC Implements New Tiered Travel Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today implemented a
new system for providing travelers with guidance about potential health
hazards and the steps they can take to protect themselves when traveling
abroad. The new system makes it easier for the public to understand what
their risks may be during an emerging public health crisis and what they can
do to protect themselves.
"As we learned during last year's SARS outbreak, infectious diseases can
spread quickly as people travel around the globe," said CDC Director Dr.
Julie Gerberding. "This new system allows us to provide travelers with very
important, real-time information that will be easy for them to apply to
protect their health."
The new system is effective immediately and will replace the previous
travel alerts and advisories. Guidance will be posted on the CDC Travelers'
Health web site as cases of disease occur and will include four levels:
In The News: is the lowest level of notice and will provide information
about sporadic cases of disease or an occurrence of a disease of public
health significance affecting a traveler or travel destination. The risk for
an individual traveler does not differ from the usual risk in that area.
Outbreak Notice: provides information about a disease outbreak in a
limited geographic area or setting. The risk to travelers is defined and
limited, and the notice will remind travelers about standard or enhanced
travel recommendations, such as vaccination.
Travel Health Precaution: provides specific information to travelers
about a disease outbreak of greater scope and over a larger geographic area
to reduce the risk of infection. The precaution also provides guidance to
travelers about what to do if they become ill while in the area. CDC does
not recommend against travel to a specific area, but may recommend limiting
exposure to a defined setting, for example, poultry farms or health-care
Travel Health Warning: recommends against nonessential travel to an area
because a disease of public health concern is expanding outside of areas or
populations that were initially affected. The purpose of a travel warning is
to reduce the volume of traffic to affected areas, limiting the risk of
spreading the disease to unaffected areas.
CDC has broad authority under section 301 of the Public Health Service
Act (42 USC 241) to make information available to the public regarding the
causes, diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of physical and mental
diseases and other impairments of man. CDC endeavors to provide accurate and
credible health information and promote health through strong partnerships
both at home and abroad.
A complete description of the definitions and criteria for issuing and
removing travel notices can be found at
# # #
CDC protects people's health and safety by preventing and
controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing
credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living
through strong partnerships with local, national, and international