Where To Investigate Disease Outbreaks Prior To Travel

Preparing to travel can be an exciting time! Determining where to go, what to pack, the best route to take and the fun you’ll have along the way are all common parts of the process. Disease outbreaks are likely the last thing you’ll be thinking of, but it might also be one of the most important.
To be sure that your luxury vacation destination isn’t experiencing difficulties with some form of disease, you can check several sources on the internet that provide real-time information. Although most will provide you with free information, there are also several that will charge.

Health Map
Cost:  Free
The Health Map combines information received from sources such as the World Health Organization, Google News, Wildlife Disease Information Node, and others to display a world map containing colored markers to pinpoint disease alert levels. A list of individual alerts with additional links to details such as date, disease name, location and number of cases appears directly below.

Google’s Flu Trends Website
Cost: Free
Flu Trends is a free website that tracks flu cases emerging in the world.  Each country is shaded to correspond to a flu activity level of low, medium or high.  Click on a particular location to be shown additional information relating to the alert.

World Health Organization
Cost: Free
WHO’s website provides a wealth of information, including up- to- date disease outbreak news and an archive of outbreaks by year, disease, and country.

Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN)
Cost: Varies
GPHIN is a Canadian service that tracks a variety of factors affecting travel including disease outbreaks, infectious diseases, contaminated food and water, bio-terrorism and exposure to chemical and radio-nuclear agents.  Its system works on a 24/7 basis gathering information from different web and news sites.  The only downside to this resource is that it will cost you.

When traveling it pays to know before you go. These sites are just a few available online that can provide you with important information about your travel destination.


US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA)
UStiA is a national association of insurance carriers, third-party administrators, insurance agencies and related businesses involved in the development, administration and marketing of travel insurance and travel assistance products.