Chikungunya Fever outbreak in the Caribbean

2612506038_9c5c4c9833_mDisease control officials in the Western Hemisphere are on edge about a rising outbreak of chikungunya fever, a brutal mosquito-borne illness that is nearing epidemic status in the Caribbean.

For decades, chikungunya outbreaks were confined to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. However, in December, it was confirmed for the first time on several Caribbean Islands. The Centers for Disease Control has warned that there is a risk that the disease will be transported to new areas by infected travelers. So, travelers, we need you to pay attention and take steps to protect yourself.

Trust us – you don’t want to contract this disease. People infected with chikungunya fever can suffer from severe pain, high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and rash. Right, it’s no fun. The name is derived from an East African word for “that which bends,” which is a reference to the contorted posture the infected often take on because of the intense pain they suffer from.

Travelers should protect themselves by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. This means using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.

This is a situation that bears monitoring, so as we always advise, please pay attention to the news, particularly if you’re traveling to the Caribbean

source : the

New benefits added to ALC Prima Healthcare plans

Bubble Strip ClearOver the past few months we have been listening carefully to what you have been saying about how we might add further value to our international medical insurance plans, so from the 1st June we will be introducing either new cover or increasing existing benefits across our Prima Healthcare plans. To find out more, contact your nearest ALC Health sales centre.

Six Travel Etiquette Tips

If you’ve ever travelled before (you have, right?), you’ve likely witnessed or personally experienced an encounter with an obnoxious traveller. From berated flight attendants to loud talkers to the person who reclines their seat so far back, they’re practically resting on your lap—these types of travellers are sadly not uncommon writes the

The Golden Rule is important when you’re traveling too; travelers need to treat others as they want to be treated. In other words, be kind and remember you’re not the center of the universe.

If anything, being a polite and respectful traveler will not only make life easier for those you encounter, but it will provide you with a better traveling experience as well.

Not sure if you’re practicing the proper travel etiquette? Here’s what you should know:

Use Inside Voices The best way to judge if you’re talking too loud? Stop chatting for a minute and listen to how everyone else is talking (or not talking). Either bring your conversation down to a whisper, or match it to the volume of those around you. Appropriateness for how loud you’re allowed to be differs across cultures, especially when in a confined space such as a train or car.

Pack Lightly Although packing less is a great way to save a little money on fees, the fact that you’ll be able to get around with ease makes it simpler for yourself and those around you who would be obliged to help. Plus, this way people won’t be bumping into your bulging backpack all day long.

Don’t Stand In Front of Everything From monumental statues and paintings to entranceways and aisles, avoid making it difficult for people to walk around and/or see important attractions. If you need to have an important conversation with someone or must linger for some reason, try to move to the side.

Be Ready If you’re waiting in line for something, make sure you’re ready when you get to the front. If you’re going through airport security, for example, keep your boarding pass and personal identification in hand and take off your shoes and belt well in advance. This makes the process much faster for employees and those waiting behind you.

Understand Cultural Differences What is accepted in your home country might not be in another. From language to dress to cultural taboos, it’s important to acknowledge these differences and accept them. While you should do as much research as possible about the local culture before your trip, be respectful to others and don’t fight it if you’re told to do something differently.

Limit Mobile Technology Use Texting, talking loudly on the phone, or taking selfies while walking is a recipe for disaster—and can be an extreme annoyance to those around you. Restrain your mobile technology use in public, and you’ll not only make it a more pleasant experience for others, but you might get more out of your travels as well.