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Travel health

06 February 2019

The flu and travel

Do I need to be vaccinated against flu for a trip?


Anyone traveling should consider getting an influenza vaccine.

Influenza circulates throughout the year across countries and travelers are at higher risk of contracting the disease:

  • In an airport: (many travelers, workers who can contaminate people)
  • In an airplane: Travelers who have the flu can contaminate other travelers on the flight.
  • In an all inclusive hotel: Near the buffet, near the pool, the employees. There are always many people in this kind of trip who can have influenza and contaminate others.
  • On a cruise ship: Closed place where there are several travelers especially on the big cruise ships and where the rules of propriety are the washing of the hands, or the wearing of the mask are not always respected.
  • Other types of travel: All over the world in Asia, Oceania, Europe, The Americas, the Caribbean, people come from all over the world and can transmit the flu to other people they are traveling on their journey


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Influenza is primarily transmitted by droplets and spread through coughing or sneezing. It may also be transmitted through direct or indirect contact with infected respiratory secretions.

The incubation period of influenza is usually 2 days, but can range from 1 to 4 days. Adults may be able to spread influenza to others from 1 day before symptoms start to approximately 5 days after.

Children and people with weakened immune systems may be infectious for longer.

Government of Canada: Flu (Inflenza)

Risk groups for influenza-related complications

  1. Pregnant women 
  2. Adults and children with the following chronic health conditions:
  • cardiac or pulmonary disorders
  • diabetes mellitus and other metabolic diseases
  • cancer and other immune compromising conditions
  • renal disease
  • anemia or hemoglobinopathy
  • neurologic or neurodevelopment conditions
  • morbid obesity (BMI greater than or equal to 40)
  • children up to 18 years of age undergoing treatment for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
  • residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
  • people 65 years of age and older
  • all children younger than 60 months of age

Many influenza epidemics have been observed in particular groups of travelers: group travel, pilgrimages, air and sea transport. Older people traveling on cruise ships are particularly at risk.


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How can I prevent influenza (Flu) during my trip?


Get vaccinated against influenza annually especially before you leave by consulting a member of Conseils Santé Voyage.


Limit contacts with sick people. This advice is particularly important for so-called "at risk" people: pregnant women, seniors, people suffering from chronic illness, very young children;

Wear a surgical mask for sick people, or for relatives who do not wish to catch the virus. This mask will be given to you by the boat clinic

Wash hands regularly with soap and water or with a hydroalcoholic solution. This advice is valid for both those who are ill and those who are not.

Wash hands after each visit to a collective place and when returning home, before and after each meal, after using the toilet, after sneezing, coughing or blowing.

Cover your mouth and nose in case of coughing or sneezing, at best with your elbow or handkerchief.


Wash hands after each stroke of coughing or sneezing;

For sick people: use paper tissues for single use. Discard them as soon as they are used;

Do not share objects such as cutlery, glasses, toothbrush etc.

Avoid shaking hands or kissing during an outbreak of influenza;


Find all the information on international health with the
Professional Package et le Corporate Package