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I stayed with a host mom and I am so happy I did. I dove deep into the culture, and made it a part of my everyday life. There were some times when I would get frustrated with the language barrier, but overall it was totally worth it. I grew in my Spanish, and grew as a person as well.
– Megan Gray
Central College

before, during and after

Before Travel

  • Students with pulmonary disease or any respiratory illness should disclose this information on their medical records.
  • Students are advised NOT to travel to/from an H5N1 (avian flu) area if they have a fever.
  • Students should consult their physicians about obtaining an influenza vaccine prior to travel.
  • Students should consult their physicians as to whether they should bring a supply of the antiviral medications such as oseltamivir (“Tamiflu”) or Relenza in case of an outbreak in humans of influenza.
  • Students should be sure that routine vaccinations are updated, and should see his or her doctor or health-care provider, ideally four to six weeks before travel, to get any additional vaccination medications or information.
  • Assemble a travel health kit containing basic first aid and medical supplies. Be sure to include a thermometer and alcohol-based hand gel for hand hygiene.
  • Avoid all direct contact with poultry, including touching well-appearing, sick, or dead chickens and ducks.

While Abroad

  • Cleaning your hands often with soap and water removes potentially infectious material from your skin and helps prevent disease transmission. Waterless alcohol-based hand gels may be used when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled.
  • All foods from poultry, including eggs and poultry blood should be cooked thoroughly. Egg yolks should not be runny or liquid. Because influenza viruses are destroyed by heat, the cooking temperature for poultry meat should be 74°C (165°F)
  • If you become sick with symptoms such as a fever accompanied by a cough, sore throat, or difficulty breathing or if you develop any illness that requires prompt medical attention, contact your program director immediately.
  • Do not travel while ill, unless you are seeking medical care. Limiting contact with others as much as possible can help prevent the spread of an infectious illness.

Back Home

  • Students should monitor their health for 10 days after their return. If a student becomes ill with a fever plus a cough, sore throat, or trouble breathing during this 10-day period, consult a health-care provider immediately.

Please take time to review the Health and Insurance Matters section of your Student Survival Guide for further health and safety information.


Pandemic Flu