Travel health

Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

New information about the spread of coronavirus is coming at us seemingly every minute from many sources. But how much of this information is trustworthy? And which sources should you believe?

Bad viruses travel fast: Measles vaccine important for travelers

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

Because measles is so highly contagious, and because there is a significant delay before symptoms manifest, a person can carry the virus and infect others without knowing it, and many adults may not have received an effective dose of the vaccine. Many outbreaks of measles could probably be prevented if more travelers received MMR vaccine prior to foreign travel.

Ticks and the changing landscape of tick-borne illnesses

Wynne Armand, MD


Ticks are being found in more places, and they are carrying newly discovered bacteria, meaning it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and your family when you are outdoors.

Resetting your circadian clock to minimize jet lag

Beverly Merz

Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Traveling across multiple time zones is likely to induce symptoms of jet lag, but making some adjustments before and while traveling can alleviate or minimize the discomfort. One theory suggests that a brief fast may help reset circadian rhythm.

What “native” Zika infections mean for the United States

Michaela Kane


News that mosquitoes in the U.S. carry Zika is concerning, but experts say that Zika likely won’t spread here as it has in Central and South America. The virus poses a danger to pregnant women and their unborn children because Zika may cause microcephaly, a birth defect in which a baby’s head is unusually small and the brain does not develop properly. The CDC warns pregnant women, or those trying to become pregnant, to avoid areas with high rates of Zika infection, and warns all travelers to such areas to take certain precautions.

Zika: Worse than we thought?

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

Just a few months ago, public health experts were confident that there would be minimal spread of Zika virus into the United States. But as they’ve continued to study Zika and catalog its effects on countries around the world, they’re discovering that it might be scarier than they initially thought. We’ve summarized the latest findings on Zika and included tips to help you ward it off.

4 ways to protect your family from mosquitoes

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

With all the news about the spread of Zika virus, it’s natural to be concerned if you live in, or are traveling to, an area notorious for mosquitoes. We’ve listed four tips to help you keep mosquitoes at bay, plus alternatives to standard DEET insect repellents that work just as well as the big name brands.

Zika, pregnancy, and winter travel: Many unknowns, and a cautious message

Hope Ricciotti, MD

Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch

If you’re planning an escape from the dreary winter weather, and you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you may want to plan your destination carefully. There’s still a lot we don’t know about Zika virus — which is now widespread in several favorite tropical destinations, such as the Caribbean — and its potential pregnancy-related complications. Until we know more, it’s better to be safe and follow the precautions we’ve listed here.