Breaking News

Guillaume Deybach Joins MSH International (Americas) As Chief Operating Officer

MSH International (Americas) has appointed Guillaume Deybach as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of its North America division and General Manager for the United States market. With extensive management experience spanning over 20 years, Deybach brings valuable leadership to the MSH executive team during a crucial period of growth. As COO, Deybach will lead the company’s operations as well as its expansion into the United States. Having served most recently as President and CEO of GeoBlue, he transformed the company’s strategic growth and increased customer satisfaction and profitability. Prior to his role with GeoBlue, he served as President and CEO of Europ Assistance North America for 14 years, transforming its assistance offerings and client portfolio, and growing revenue through organic growth and acquisitions. “Deybach will oversee the operations team as well as the distribution process and development life cycles for MSH International (Americas) products,” said Robin Ingle, CEO of MSH International…

More Brits Stranded, Victims of Airline Cancellations

The stunning collapse of UK’s giant tour operator Thomas Cook, which left more than 600,000 holidayers stranded in some 18 countries (150,000 from Britain alone) shows just how vulnerable travellers have become to circumstances beyond their control. That’s almost twice the number of travellers stranded when Monarch airlines went under in 2017, and an additional million more that lost their future bookings. The liquidation of the 178-year old tour company whose logo has become a familiar sight worldwide propelled the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to mobilize its “biggest peacetime repatriation” since the second world war to get its holidayers home—within the next two weeks and free of charge. The repatriation is being funded largely by the government-run Air Travel Organizer’s Licence (ATOL) system which requires travel companies who sell air holiday packages to meet certain licensing requirements and contribute to a trust fund protecting travellers in case one of…

SUNx & Ingle International Announce SDG-17 Climate Resilience Partnership

KATOWICE, Poland and TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2018 /CNW/ – A Climate Resilience partnership, focussed on creating 100,000 Strong Climate Champions by 2030 was announced today at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland. The partnership, which was made in the spirit of SDG-17, is between leading Canadian-based global travel risk management and travel insurance provider Ingle International Inc., and SUNx (Strong Universal Network), which focusses on Climate Friendly Travel. The partnership is founded on a shared commitment to develop the Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarship Program, with Ingle International as its first global sponsor. Speaking from COP 24 – the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, Co-founder of SUNx, said: “We are honoured to announce our partnership with Ingle International to launch the global rollout of the Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarship Program. This will create 100,000 “Strong Climate Champions” by 2030, in every UN State, to help to drive the behavioural change and influence the fundamental government and industry actions needed to tackle Climate…

Thinking about your Fall and Winter travel plans as Summer closes in? Know your rights!

Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance – and make sure you pack the right one! We have a dedicated team to help you choose the perfect plan fit for your travels. MSH Americas is dedicated to honoring our leading position in the travel insurance industry by providing exceptional service, up-to-date news, and support for our clients. Whether you are going abroad for leisure, to study, or to work, we want you to be able to travel with confidence. As part of our ongoing commitment to you, we promise to adhere to the newly updated THIA Traveler’s Bill of Rights. The Traveler’s Bill of Rights reads: The Travel Insurance Bill of Rights and Responsibilities builds upon the following key elements of travel health insurance: • Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies.• Know your health and consult a health…

10 Things I have Learned About Human Trafficking Since Launching Our Task Force

In the run up to 30 July – World Day against Trafficked Persons, which is calling for governments to take more stringent action to fight Human Trafficking, I took the opportunity to reflect on what I have learned about the issue since WTTC launched its Human Trafficking Task Force at the 2019 Global Summit in Seville, April this year. Human Trafficking is a big money ‘business’. According to the International Labour Organization, Human Trafficking is an illicit industry worth more than $150 billion annually, which is equivalent to the entire tourism economy of Brazil ($152.5 billion). 2. Human Trafficking affects everyone, everywhere. Victims of Human Trafficking are men, women and children, and they can be found in every country in the world. An estimated 24.9 million people are trapped in forced labour: 16 million of which are exploited in the private sector, 4.8 million in forced sexual exploitation, and 4…

Ingle & MSH join task force to halt human trafficking

We are proud to team up with the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) to bring awareness and work towards halting the spread of human trafficking around the globe. Our industry has a unique opportunity to educate our partners and clients on activities that can make a real difference. For immediate release… To mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (July 30th), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today calls on governments across the globe to adopt more stringent measures in the fight against human trafficking, and specifically to support Travel & Tourism initiatives that aim to curb this illicit activity. Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits annually. In comparative terms, that’s the equivalent of the entire tourism economy of Brazil ($152.5bn). Trafficking relies on the travel industry to operate – not only across borders, but also within – using legitimate operations to illegally move…

StudyInsured: Your One-Stop Shop for International Student Insurance

Looking for the best travel insurance coverage for your international student(s)? Look no further – StudyInsured has it all! From protecting a student’s medical needs, to the accessibility of 24/7 multilingual emergency assistance services, and even a Stay Healthy at School Program. Read our latest press release on why StudyInsured is your one-stop shop for International Student Insurance. Are you an international student? Let us help you feel at home while you study abroad. We cover all your health insurance needs, give you easily accessible resources for navigating the healthcare systems, provide physical and mental wellness support through the Stay Healthy at School program, 24/7 claim services should you need assistance, and much more. For more information, visit https://www.inglestudents.com/studyinsured/, call us at 1-855-649-4182 or email us at studentteam@studyinsured.com.

Recent News in the Dominican Republic Calls For Extra Precaution When Travelling At All Times

It was the shooting of baseball legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz outside a bar in Santo Domingo that brought the issue of mysterious deaths in the Dominican Republic to worldwide attention, but it remains the recent spate of mostly-unsolved and unexplained deaths of American tourists at popular resort hotels that has tourism officials worried about what comes next. (Big Papi is recovering well in a Boston hospital) Though the issue has not captured much attention of Canadian media—which is mystifying as Canadians provide the second largest pool of tourism to the DR next to Americans—print and broadcast media in the US have been asking tough questions about what local tourism officials have characterized as a series of unfortunate coincidences. In one published report, however, the DR’s attorney general Jean Alain Rodriguez told local journalists that the nation is “secure but definitely has many challenges.” Indeed it has. So far this…

MSH International Boosts Its Global Expansion With New Health and Travel Insurance Products and Services

MSH International (Americas) is accelerating its international expansion and services to meet the growing demand for its comprehensive, global health insurance products. Adding to the company’s great products and services a new suite of offerings addresses up-to-the-minute needs of leisure and business travelers alike and includes: LivExpat, a new generation of flexible and cost-efficient international health insurance plans MSH Navigator, a mobile application, with geo-tracking capabilities, security warnings, travel and city guides, two-way communication and single-touch access to emergency and provider networks MSH ASSISTANCE, a comprehensive product offering with round-the-clock multilingual medical assistance, emergency evacuation, repatriation and risk management to travellers, worldwide. Born of a 2017 merger between MSH International and Ingle International, a supplier of international insurance solutions for travellers, students and expatriates since 1946, MSH International continues to experience rapid international growth. Together with its continuous product innovation, tailored facilities, global capabilities, customized web and mobile sales/information portals…

Travellers’ Alerts Raised for Measles Outbreaks in Europe and the USA

If you’re heading for Europe this summer, and especially if you’re travelling with children who have not been vaccinated for measles, see your doctor or a travel health clinic immediately and have yourselves and your children properly immunized against this dangerous and potentially deadly disease. Most of us thought measles had been eliminated many years ago. But the epidemic raging across Europe shows just how resilient this highly contagious disease can really be. According to Canada’s Travel Health website, as of the end of May 2019, large measles outbreaks (exceeding 1,000 cases) are currently ongoing in Albania, France, Georgia, Italy, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine; and since the beginning of 2019, serious outbreaks have also been reported in virtually all other European nations, including such highly developed countries as Germany, the UK, Spain, and Switzerland. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC), 35,000 cases of measles…

As Governments Withdraw, Private Travel Insurers Tune Up

Ontario’s proposal to stop paying travellers’ out-of-country medical emergency costs is expected to raise private travel insurance premiums by between 7 and 13 per cent, according to industry sources, even though the provincial share of fees paid to foreign health care providers are minimal at best—perhaps 5 per cent. And though such increases will be felt most acutely by snowbirds who spend several months out of Canada each year—primarily in the US—the effects should also awaken cross-border shoppers and weekenders to the reality that accidents and medical emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time, making them just as vulnerable as snowbirds. According to figures just released by the Conference Board of Canada (CBoC), 71.9 per cent of Ontarians surveyed claim they had some form of travel insurance on their last outbound trip. For Canadians as a whole, that was 76 per cent. And of those who were uninsured, 49.6…

Ontario Terminate All Out-of-Country Medical Payments

The Ontario government’s announced intention to terminate all coverage of unexpected medical emergencies for residents travelling out of the country as of October 1, 2019 appears to be a clear violation of the Canada Health Act. But that has not prevented the Ontario government, and all other provinces and territories, from short changing their own travellers for years by paying foreign hospitals absurdly low reimbursements for taking care of them when they travel out of the country. Ontario has been paying up to $200 CAD per day per patient in a standard room, $400 in intensive care, and $50 CAD for an outpatient visit—leaving it to private travel insurers to pay the great bulk of remaining costs (usually well north of 90 percent). And though the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MHLTC) contends that the termination of the OOC program will have no impact on 99.5 percent of…

Important Updates To Our Policies & Extended Hours

IMPORTANT: UPDATES TO OUR POLICIES We have made changes to our policies in order to continue providing clients with comprehensive, responsible coverage.  Download a copy of our coverage summary or policy wording to get the full details of the updated changes. We at MSH Americas ensure that your clients can travel with confidence, whether they are global travellers, expatriates, or international students. With a wide range of products and an unrivaled customer service experience, you can trust that we will find the perfect solution for you and your clients’ travel needs. We offer personalized one-on-one service to fulfill your insurance needs at every point of contact. Don’t forget: We’re only a phone call away, whenever you need our assistance. MSH/Ingle Agents Login to your agent portal to view and download the latest policy details under MSH/Ingle-specific products. https://www.ingleinternational.com/login/en Canadian Travellers Travel freely, travel blissfully. We cover Canadian Travellers with travel…

無論您是在國外工作還是留學,都要在春節期間保持傳統過新年!- Whether You Are Working Or Studying Abroad, Keep The Tradition Alive During Chinese New Year!

新年快樂 – Happy Chinese New Year! Or in Hong Kong and other Cantonese regions, 恭喜發財 – it means congratulations on the fortune. A Little History Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, has taken prominence and is celebrated all over the world. This New Year celebration is actually the longest Chinese holiday of the year (lasting 15-16 days) and is celebrated on a different day every year. Why? Because it follows the lunar calendar – the movement of the moon. This tradition has been around for almost 4000 years since the Han Dynasty in 202 BC-220 AD.  The Emperor commanded the use of the lunar calendar and it has been put into practice ever since. 2019, Year of the Pig Every year is represented by a different Chinese zodiac sign. 2019 is the year of the pig – a year of fortune and luck! A pig represents wealth, honesty,…

US Lifts Ban on Pot Workers, But Travel Rules Remain—For Now

The announcement by the US Customs and Border Protection agency that it will not impede Canadians who work in the rapidly growing cannabis industry from entering the United States for routine leisure or non-business travel suggests an easing of the federal government’s long-standing prohibition of marijuana use and commerce. The CBP statement, published on its website, reads: “A Canadian citizen working or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S., however if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for a reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.” The CBP clarification followed several weeks of speculation about how stringently CBP officers would enforce border restrictions on not only Canadian cannabis workers, but all other Canadian travellers whose own government has permitted them to…

Goodbye NAFTA. Hello USMCA. Hold on to Your Health Insurance

Canada’s new trade agreement with the United States and Mexico (replacing NAFTA) has gone through a tortuous negotiation, but finally has been completed. And according to the new rules built into USMCA (US, Mexico, Canada Agreement) there are no changes to visa requirements for workers and professionals affected by the new accord. The old NAFTA rules remain for business visitors, professionals, intra-company transferees, and traders and investors. (For details or updates on those rules, you can visit the Government of Canada’s website.) In short, the agreement doesn’t change a member country’s general immigration regulations governing public health, safety, and national security; and, significantly for workers and professionals posted abroad for long periods, it still doesn’t make provisions for any kind of reciprocity for health care coverage as has been a staple for individuals and companies operating within European Union countries. USMCA (like its forerunner NAFTA) is tied to trade, and…

New Canadian Biometric Requirements in Place for International Students and Other Visa Holders

As of July 31, 2018, international students applying for Canadian student visas from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are required to provide biometric facial photos and fingerprint data to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officers when entering the country. The requirements will also apply to applicants for visitor, work, permanent residency, or refugee asylum visas. Applicants already in Canada are temporarily exempt from the requirements pending the establishment of biometric application processing centres in Canada starting in 2019. Canada’s Biometric Initiative program, which is designed to ease legitimate travel to Canada while protecting national security and preventing identify fraud, will be extended to applicants from Asia, Asia- Pacific, and the Americas starting December 31, 2018. Canada already collects biometric data from refugee applicants from 30 countries. Tourists from visa-exempt countries with valid Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTA) are exempt from the requirement, as are: Canadian citizens US nationals Citizenship…

StudyInsured Has Been Named in the StudyTravel ST Star Awards 2018

We are pleased to announce that StudyInsured has been named in the Service Provider category of this year’s StudyTravel magazine ST Star Awards. The annual peer-voted ST Star Awards were first held in 2006 and reward quality across 25 categories, including travel agencies, language providers, vocational colleges, secondary schools, service providers and associations. StudyInsured has been providing best-in-class travel insurance to international students under the Ingle International Group of Companies since 1946. Giving peace of mind to educational institutions and students worldwide, this nomination represents some of the great strides StudyInsured has made in the last 12 months, with new product offerings, improved mental health support and our brand-new initiative to give back to school partners. The winner of each category will be revealed at an awards ceremony, held on the second evening of ST Alphe UK in London on September 1, 2018. Voting closes on April 26, 2018. …

Canadians Will Always Love Las Vegas

It was inevitable that Canadians, who account for almost one million air arrivals annually in Las Vegas, would be among the victims of the horrendous mass shootings this October. Next to Florida and Los Angeles, this city in the desert welcomes more Canadians arriving by air than any other. And the reasons are clear—it is an exciting, well-run, highly attractive location designed for purely one purpose—to attract tourism and make visitors feel welcome. What happened? The same thing that happened in Barcelona in August, in Paris and Nice in 2015, in Manchester and London earlier this year, in Orlando in 2016, and that will undoubtedly happen in other locations in the near future: unhinged zealots taking out their anger on innocent, defenseless people.  Are there lessons to be learned from these tragedies, given that they are so unexpected, random, and irrational? Perhaps the most common element is the presence of…

What Now for Mexico—Canada’s Most Favoured Leisure Destination?

In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria which ravaged much of the Caribbean basin and Florida, and two massive earthquakes in Mexico, Canadian leisure travel options in North America’s hot countries have taken a huge hit. Though the 7.1 magnitude quake centred in Puebla State just south east of Mexico City (followed by a 6.1 magnitude aftershock) got most of the media attention, an earlier, and even bigger 8.2. quake that epicentred 120 km off shore in the Pacific, attacking the coastal southwestern states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco, killed more than 100 residents and virtually shut down a normally bustling tourism industry. The combination of the two quakes and a high-magnitude aftershock, barely a week apart, covering huge areas of central Mexico to its southern border with Guatemala, have put a huge question mark over the ability of these areas to rebuild, and the availability of an infrastructure…

Travel Planning Lessons for Canadians from Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma has left a long-lasting legacy on many island countries of the Caribbean as well as the US southeast, especially Florida—a legacy that Canadians must factor into any short- or long-term travel plans for these regions. Full recovery in many of these areas—even those not prominently covered in the media– may take a long time. The full extent of damage is yet to be tallied, so be patient when trying to get more precise information about friends, family, or properties you may have in the affected areas. In the Caribbean, Turks and Caicos, Antigua, Anguilla, St. Barts, Bahamas, Cuba, and Saint Martin/Sint Maarten are all under Canadian government “Avoid All Travel” or “Avoid All Non-Essential Travel” warnings. In the face of hurricane Maria, Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico are also under advisement. These warning levels may change from day to day. To stay current, view the advisories online. Take…

Hurricane Irma Update

There is no part of Florida that has escaped the damage from Hurricane Irma and the demanding task of recovery and reconstruction that will take many months to come. For Canadians, particularly snowbirds that have property in Florida, the full impact may not yet be known. Communities remain isolated as power remains sporadic and transportation continues to be hampered by lack of fuel. Fort Lauderdale, a heavily commercial urban area, has few traffic lights in operation, supermarkets are powered by generators with shelves that are bare of staples, and ice (a crucially important product when power and refrigeration is out) is almost impossible to get. It is common to see drivers sitting in their cars idling while recharging their cellphones. Despite politicians’ promises that fuel is on its way, none appears to be showing up at a majority of service stations in this area. If you have property in any…

Travel Warning: Canadian Winter Texans Avoid Harvey

Global Canada has issued a stern “avoid all travel” warning to Canadians planning to visit flood-stricken Texas. Warnings extend from Port Mansfield—just north of the city of Brownsville (well-known to many winter Texan snowbirds), along the Gulf Coast, and inland areas including Houston. With tropical storm Harvey moving eastward into Louisiana, restricted travel warnings are likely to be extended well past the time Harvey calms down and the flood waters recede. We urge all Canadians anticipating travel to any part of Texas south of Dallas, especially Winter Texans concerned about their homes or properties in the Rio Grande Valley north of Brownsville (in the MacAllen/Harlingen area), to monitor the Global Canada website for current travel advisories and warnings. Travel Canada defines an “avoid all travel” warning level as, “an extreme risk to your personal safety and security. You should not travel to this country, territory, or region. If you are…

Terror Attack in Spain: How to Stay Aware

Incidents of terrorism swept across Alcanar, Barcelona, and Cambrils taking the lives of 15 people. Residents and visitors experienced great trauma, and the President of Spain declared 3 days of mourning. We stand united with Spain and all countries in the fight against terrorism. And we strongly encourage the return to daily activities, and travels! Add preventative measures to your upcoming trip with the safety checklist below. Purchase travel medical insurance coverage that works for you. Do not be discouraged by a pre-existing conditions, there are options for everyone. And don’t forget to read the fine print. Be aware of the Emergency Assistance feature in your travel medical insurance coverage and how to use it. Register your trip with your government agency, it is free of charge. Ensure your emergency contact information is easily accessible by you, your travel companion, or a Good Samaritan who can help you in the…

Your Guide to Travel Awareness

During the terrorist attack on London UK, casualties and injuries resulted in 4 dead and 40 injured. Though residents and travellers appear more rattled than days prior, London Mayor Sadiq Khan resolves, “Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism.” In that breath, it is important to continue travelling and review terrorism preparedness procedures. Over 70 years, Ingle International has developed a wealth of resources about specific events of terror, as well as risk response best practices. Take advantage of these hand-picked articles below, and keep travelling. Common Sense Tourism Protection Lessons From Orlando, Stay Vigilant Terrorism is Changing the Face and Price of Travel Europe Tightens Border Rules, Prepare but Still Enjoy Trip Cancellation Interruption Insurance in Times of Terror How to Respond to Active Shooter Situations A Helpful Guide to Plan for Travel Emergencies Have a look at our travel insurance options.

How to Stay Safe in Airports

The lethal shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on January 6, was as horrific as it was unpredictable: innocent people, thinking only of their vacations and a break from frigid weather at home. Instead, 5 shot dead, 6 others seriously wounded. Could this have been you? It’s not a question you should ponder too long. You can’t live your life afraid of all the things that could happen to you. And don’t delude yourself that Fort Lauderdale airport is a particularly “soft” target as US airports go. It is the 21st busiest airport in the US (just one spot behind LaGuardia), it boards over 13 million passengers per year, its security procedures are as tight as any in the country, and its 4 terminals and adjacent parking pavilions require maps to navigate. But its safety record remains admirable. With the help of professional safety and security advisories we can suggest…

Zika Virus Threat Expands to Miami Beach

Five new cases of local transmission of Zika virus have been reported in the heart of Miami Beach, in addition to the outbreak first reported late July in the Wynwood community located just north of downtown Miami. Last week, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that just as several large sectors of the Wynwood area were cleared of evidence of transmission, 5 new cases of mosquito-borne Zika infection were reported in the densely-populated South Beach area of Miami Beach, south from 28th Street to 8th street, from the Atlantic Ocean to Biscayne Bay, an area encompassing less than 1.5 square miles. This area also includes the Miami Beach Convention Center, a popular venue for international meetings and conventions. The five new cases involved two Miami Beach residents and three out-of-area visitors. This brings the total of known locally-acquired Zika virus infections (transmitted by bites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito) in Miami-Dade County to…

Florida Updates Zika Virus Count

The Florida Department of Health reports an additional four new cases of locally-acquired Zika virus being investigated in Miami-Dade.. All of them were believed to have been infected in the one-square mile of Wynwood area, originally designated as the prime site of the recent outbreak. The department emphasizes that it “still believes active transmissions are only taking place within the identified area that is less than one square mile in Miami-Dade County.” Currently, there are no active investigations or any indications of active transmission in Broward County, which is immediately north of Miami-Dade. The FDH also reports the incidence of 14 new travel-related cases of Zika virus infection—four in Miami Dade, three in Orange County (Orlando area), two in Hernando County (St. Petersburg-Clearwater area), one in Broward County, one in Lee County (Fort Myers area), one in Monroe County (Keys area), and two involving pregnant women in un-named counties. These…

What You Should Do About the Zika Virus

What is the Zika virus? Zika is an arbovirus that is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti of mosquito. The greatest risk is to fetuses, particularly when expectant mothers are infected during the first trimester. Zika has been linked to microcephaly (abnormally small head) in newborn children. Thousands of such cases have been reported to date, especially in Brazil, which is thought to be the epicentre of the current breakout. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. Up to 80 per cent of Zika virus infections are free of symptoms and go undetected. According to the Public Health Agency Canada (PHAC), these symptoms can include fever, headache, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and skin rash, along with joint and muscle pain. The illness is typically mild and lasts only a few days. Zika has also been linked to incidence of Guillain-Barre syndrome—a serious disorder of the body’s immune…

Safety Precautions for Canadian Travellers to Turkey

The recent coup attempt in Turkey, and the government’s massive retaliation, must be taken seriously by any Canadians planning to visit family or friends in that country.(According to the 2011 census, there were then almost 55,500 Canadian residents who claimed full or partial Turkish descent, and certainly a lot more today.) In the wake of the botched uprising, the Government of Canada has warned its citizens to “Avoid Non-Essential Travel” to Turkey as a whole, or to “Avoid All Travel” to its border region with Syria—specifically within 10 km of said border. These warnings are not just formalities. They can have serious consequences for you if you ignore them and then run into any problems or even misunderstandings while in that country. Following is what the advisories mean: Avoid non-essential travel There are specific safety and security concerns that could put you at risk. You should reconsider your need…

France Struck Yet Again

The month-long UEFA Euro 2016 soccer tournament held throughout France was labelled as a major event with a high threat level. Increased security presence was felt at the venues, and the public was kept safe for the most part, with the exception of some incidents with so-called hooligans. Tragically, though, just days after the tournament ended, an attack was carried out during the heart of French National Day celebrations. Bastille Day, or La Fête nationale, is a holiday that commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789. Bastille Day marks the beginning of republican democracy in France, and carries with it great significance and symbolism to the French culture that has now been tragically tainted. The Bastille Day attack is the worst attack since the November 2015 attacks in Paris. Around 30,000 people were gathered in Nice, France’s second-most-popular tourist destination, to celebrate and watch the fireworks over the Mediterranean…

Europe Travel Alert: World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland

The United States has issued a Europe Travel Alert lasting until August 31, 2016, warning travellers of the large number of tourists visiting Europe this summer and associated risks. Specifically, the surge in visitors presents a greater concern for potential terrorist attacks due to the number of large events. And although the alert covers Americans, Canadians are urged to heed the same advice and follow travel advisories if they are heading to Europe this summer. One major event the travel alert mentions is the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day, which is taking place in Krakow, Poland, from July 26 to July 31. The event is expected to draw upwards of 2.5 million visitors between the ages of 16 and 35 to the Polish city. The Polish Prime Minister’s Office has said there are no signs of increased terrorist activity in the country and reassured travellers that security will be stringent.…

UEFA Euro 2016: Europe Travel Alert

The United States has issued a Europe Travel Alert over the risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe targeting tourist sites, major events, transportation, restaurants, and commercial centres. The alert focuses on the Euro 2016 soccer championship being held in France from June 10 to July 10 as a major event with a high threat level. France has issued a state of emergency until July 26, as the matches are expected to draw several million fans from across the continent and the globe. In the wake of the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks that shook Europe, French security has taken major steps to mitigate any risk of further terrorist attacks during the third-largest sporting event in the world. Stade de France The Stade de France was one of the targets in the Paris terrorist attacks last November, where three suicide bombers attempted to reach the interior of the stadium…

How to Respond to Active Shooter Situations While Travelling

The attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando has been characterized as the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States. Not surprisingly, this event has again brought active shooter situations to the forefront of public issues. While the likelihood of encountering an active shooter is extremely rare, we have provided a guide on how to prepare for and respond to these situations. How to prepare Active shooter situations can be unpredictable and random, which increases societal levels of fear. In many cases, active shooters try to inflict as much damage as possible in the short amount of time before authorities arrive on scene. You should understand the level of risk in the areas where you live, work, and visit. Know whether you may be a target, or whether any specific sites that you visit may be potential targets. Make sure you know where to go in the…

Lessons from Orlando: Stay Vigilant

The massacre of 49 Americans in Orlando should awaken us all to the reality that terrorism, and its avoidance, is now part of our lives—even within the shadow of Disney World. The tragedy we witnessed over live television and through social media this weekend brought home with brutal clarity that terrorism, whatever its source, is more than a European phenomenon. What happened in Paris and Brussels in late 2015 and early 2016 has happened here, in America’s heartland. We might have expected Times Square—but Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando? We must learn from this horrific event. Vigilance is everybody’s business, no matter where or when. Shortly after the Bataclan massacre in Paris in November 2015, American theme parks warned of longer lineups as they tightened up their screening measures. So did sports arenas and entertainment venues. Airports, already horribly overcrowded, just kept adding to your pain. What does Orlando, June 12,…

The Latest on the Zika Virus

(Written by Dr. Michael Szabo, Medical Director, Ingle International) The Zika virus is still a hot topic in infectious disease circles. Here are three recent developments in our understanding of this important virus. Zika causes microcephaly The CDC has recently reached the definitive conclusion that the Zika virus causes microcephaly. Its evidence has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine[1]. Until now, the Zika–microcephaly connection had merely been suspected, given the lack of data showing that Zika was the direct cause. That has now changed. Zika is now being linked to other problems in the offspring of affected pregnant mothers, including hearing and vision problems and cognitive deficits The data are still being investigated, and the association is not definitive at this point. This development is certainly worrying, since until now microcephaly was the only concern. Sexual transmission of the virus is now more of a concern than…