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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

5 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 5 new cases involved 2 Miami Beach residents and 3 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 during…

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…