100918 – World Status Report

When traveling on behalf of UT Dallas, set up your institutional safety net and prepare for an emergency as a standard step of all your travels.  Find more information in the Traveler Best Practices webpage.

The risk information in this report is retrieved from U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and other professional sources as listed in the post. It provides general guidance for UT Dallas travelers.

Please note the revision date (mmddyy) of this report, printed on the title of the post, and go to the direct sources listed for the most up-to-date information.  The information in this report may change without prior notice.

Avoid Nonessential Travel

Conflict and Terrorism

  • Jordan – Government of Canada. Avoid all travel to all areas within 5 km of the border with Syria and Iraq.

Natural Disaster

  • Indonesia – Government of Canada, GOV.UK. Avoid all but essential travel to the city of Palu and the districts of Donggala, Mamuju Utara, Sigi and Parigi Moutong in Central Sulawesi, following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on September 28, 2018 and a tsunami that hit the city of Palu. Aftershocks are still occurring, and could be felt for weeks. There are many causalities. The earthquake has caused widespread damage to infrastructure and roads throughout the region. Palu Airport has been affected and remains closed to commercial flights. The ports of Pantoloan and Wani have been severely damaged. There are significant disruptions to the essential services like transportation, power distribution, water and food supply, telecommunications networks, emergency services, and medical care. If you’re in or around the affected area, ensure that your travel documents are up-to-date and consider leaving using available commercial means. Verify your travel plans with your airline or tour operator. Monitor local media for the latest developments and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Law and Culture

  • BurundiGOV.UK. On 28 September 2018, the Burundian government announced it was suspending the work of NGOs in the country; if you’re visiting or working for an NGO, you should keep a low profile and be aware that there’s a risk that IT-plated vehicles may be stopped by the security forces.

Take Enhanced Precautions

Conflict and Terrorism

  • UgandaGOV.UK. Uganda Police Force warning of possible terrorist attacks around Independence Day on 9 October 2018.

Demonstrations

  • Gabon – Government of Canada. Legislative and local elections are expected to take place on October 6 and 27, 2018. Demonstrations could occur before, during and after the elections. Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place. Follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media for the latest information.
  • Peru – Government of Canada. Strike in Quillabamba ended.
  • Ethiopia – Government of Canada. Insurgency-related violence can occur at any time across the ‎Somali region. Remain vigilant when travelling in this region and monitor local media.

Crime and Social Unrest

  • UkraineU.S. Department of State. Level 2: Exercise increased caution in Ukraine due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
  • JordanGOV.UK – Whilst large numbers of foreigners enjoy visiting Amman and hiking in some of Jordan’s more remote areas, women travellers often receive unwanted attention in the form of verbal and physical harassment by individuals or groups of men. On occasion this can escalate and over the last 12 months there has been an increase in reports of cases of sexual assault. Female visitors and residents should take care when walking or travelling alone even during daylight hours.

Natural Disaster

  • Japan, Russian Federation, South Korea, North Korea, China, GuamGDACS. From 28/09/2018 to 06/10/2018, a Tropical Storm (maximum wind speed of 259 km/h) KONG-REY-18 was active in NWPacific.
  • NicaraguaGOV.UK – The current period of severe weather may cause travel disruption and there is potential for flooding and landslips in some areas. Check local information and plan any travel carefully.
  • CambodiaGOV.UK. There is a heightened risk of flooding along the whole of the Mekong River; the south of the country has so far seen the worst of the flooding but areas at risk continue to change on a daily basis; you should follow the advice of local authorities

Health

  • Zimbabwe –  WHO.  Cholera outbreak. An additional 4914 cases have been reported including 92 laboratory-confirmed cases since Sep 15. from 6 September 2018 to 3 October 2018, there have been 8535 cumulative cases, including 163 laboratory-confirmed cases, and 50 deaths have been reported (case fatality rate: 0.6%). Of these 8535 cases, 98% (8341 cases) were reported from the densely populated capital Harare (Figure 1). The most affected suburbs in Harare are Glen View and Budiriro.
  • NigerWHO. On 15 July, the outbreak of cholera was officially declared by the Ministry of Public Health of Niger. Since then, the outbreak has continuously expanded geographically and in magnitude with peaks of around 400 cases reported in two weeks in August and in early September.
  • NigeriaWHO. On 26 September 2017, WHO was alerted to a suspected outbreak of monkeypox in Yenagoa Local Government Area (LGA) in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The index cluster was reported in a family. All of whom developed similar symptoms of fever and generalized skin rash over a period of four weeks. Epidemiological investigations into the cluster show that all infected cases had a contact with monkey about a month prior to onset.
  • Saudi Arabia  – WHO. From 1 June through 16 September 2018, the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) National Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 32 additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), including 10 deaths.
  • West Nile virusECDC. Between 28 September and 4 October 2018, EU Member States reported 50 human West Nile virus infections in Greece (22), Romania (19), Hungary (7), Bulgaria (1) and the Czech Republic (1). EU neighbouring countries reported 30 cases, all in Serbia.
  • Legionnaires’ diseaseECDC. According to regional and national health authorities, 651 pneumonia cases have been reported as of 1 October 2018, 49 of which tested positive for Legionella. Of the 651 cases, 64% are male.
  • Influenza A(H5N6) – One new human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) was reported in September 2018 from China. The case is a 22-year-old man from Guangdong Province.
  • PoliomyelitisECDC. Since the CDTR published on 7 September 2018, three new cases of wild poliovirus type 1 have been reported in Afghanistan (2) and Pakistan (1). Additionally, 18 new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus have been reported globally: cVDPV1 in Papua New Guinea (6), cVDPV2 in Nigeria (3), Democratic Republic of Congo (2) and Niger (2) and cVDPV3 in Somalia (5).
  • MERS-CoVECDC. During the month of September, 13 MERS-CoV cases, including six deaths, were reported by Saudi Arabia. All cases but one were male. Three cases reported camel contact, one case was due to nosocomial transmission, two were household contacts and five were primary cases with no indication for the route of transmission. The other two cases are under investigation

Entry and Exit requirements

  • Turkey – Government of Canada. Turkish authorities have announced that Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport will be closed to scheduled flights as of October 29, 2018, coinciding with the planned official opening of the new Istanbul Airport. Incoming flights to Ataturk Airport will be directed to the new Istanbul Airport. You must obtain an e-visa before departure as visas on-arrival will not be available at the new Istanbul Airport. See Entry and exit requirements for more information. Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport, on the Asian side, will remain operational during this time. If you are planning to travel in or out of Turkey via Istanbul, beware of possible flight delays and cancellations on October 29 and/or the following days. Please contact your airline, travel or ticketing agency to confirm the status of your flight.

Law and Culture

  • Jordan – Government of Canada. Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Jordan. If local authorities consider you a citizen of Jordan, they may refuse to grant you access to consular services.

Ebola News

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • CDC. There is an outbreak of Ebola in the North Kivu (Kivu Nord) and Ituri provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The outbreak is in a part of the country identified by the U.S. State Department as a “do not travel” zone because of armed group activity and major outbreaks of violence targeting civilians. Travelers to this area could be infected with Ebola if they come into contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids. Travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, headache, body aches, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, rash, or red eyes during or after travel.
    • WHO. The response to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is at a critical juncture. WHO faces a precarious situation given recent increases in insecurity, incidents of community mistrust, and increased geographical spread.
    • ECDC.Over the past week, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has reported 11 additional cases in Beni (8), Butembo (1), Komanda (1) and Mabalako (1). Additionally, since the last CDTR, a new health zone, Komanda, has reported a confirmed case. This case had an epidemiological link to the first confirmed case in Tchomia.

Please note the revision date (mmddyy) of this report, printed on the title of the post, and go to the direct sources listed for the most up-to-date information.  The information in this report may change without prior notice.