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3 posts categorized "Study Abroad - Alerts"

05/16/2016

Update: Zika Virus

The CDC has issued a Level 2 alert for the Zika virus, which recommends travelers to affected areas “practice enhanced precautions.” In the case of Zika, this means travelers should protect themselves against mosquito bites. The CDC also recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant.

Areas reporting active Zika transmission include Latin America and the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, and Cape Verde in Africa.

According to the CDC:

  • Zika can be transmitted through mosquito bites, sexual contact, blood transfusion, and from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
  • For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild, so many people might not realize they have been infected.
  • Symptoms last for several days to a week.
  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
  • There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant.
  • Currently, there is no specific medicine or vaccine for Zika.

For updates and additional information, please monitor the CDC’s webpage on the Zika virus. Additional information can also be found on the World Health Organization’s website: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/zika/information-for-travelers/en/.

 

02/03/2016

Study Abroad Alert - ZIka

While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that active virus transmission is currently limited to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, two countries in the Pacific Islands, and Cape Verde in Africa, we are issuing this alert broadly due to the potential for continued spread of the virus. Student safety is our number one priority for all CIEE study abroad programs, and we are closely monitoring the status of the Zika virus for its possible risk to students.

At this point in time, there is no change in the status of CIEE's programs. We urge all students and parents to consult the CDC website for information and recommendations regarding the Zika virus: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.

According to the CDC:
• About one in five people infected with Zika will get sick. For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild, so many people might not realize they have been infected.
• Symptoms last for several days to a week.
• The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
• There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant.


Students with specific health questions should contact their health care providers.

CIEE staff has been informed about the virus and have reinforced messaging to students upon arrival at their host cities about the critical need for proper mosquito protection and prevention techniques.

The CDC has issued a Level 2 alert for the virus, which recommends travelers to affected areas "practice enhanced precautions." In the case of Zika, this means travelers should protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Among the CDC's recommendations for protection against mosquito bites are to:
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
• Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
• Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
• Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. All EPA-registered insect repellents are evaluated for effectiveness.
• Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.


The CDC also recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant:
• Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who must travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctors or other health care providers first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
• Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their health care providers before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.


For updates and additional information, please monitor the CDC's webpage on the Zika virus. Additional information can also be found on the World Health Organization's website: http://www.who.int/.

We will continue to keep you informed of developments as needed. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-40-STUDY.

11/20/2015

Study Abroad Alert: Europe

Please see information below about CIEE's protocols surrounding supporting our students in times of need, especially in light of the recent attacks in Paris. 

First, we want to reassure you that CIEE has a robust active emergency and communication plan that includes the services of an evacuation assistance provider and security intelligence services that furnish us with daily and, at times, hourly updates. We are part of the Overseas Security Advisory Council, a division of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security in the U.S. Department of State, and we coordinate with a consortium of security professionals that works with more than 40 other colleges and institutions throughout the U.S. There are currently no travel warnings or advice from any of our resources suggesting that we should alter plans to continue with this semester, but should there be a shift, we are fully prepared to react.

Each of our study centers has an Emergency Action Plan and Response in place, as well as use of an Emergency Notification System that can simultaneously broadcast messaging out to students via email, text, and voice message. Certainly last weekend we used all of our tools to ensure that our students were accounted for. It is likely that as events continue to unfold, we will need to use our protocols again as public safety officials are operating at a heightened sense of awareness.

Additionally, our staff has identified resources in all of our study centers to support our students. Staff has received training in assisting students under stress and has the services of mental health professionals to assist them in understanding how to best support students. Our staff are paying particularly close attention to all students throughout Europe for signs of distress and are ready and able to assist.

We also recognize that everyone's tolerance for risk differs, and each student must ultimately make the decision that feels right to them. Certainly we anticipate that some of our students may struggle due to this event and the tense environment in its aftermath. We are prepared to help all of our students come to terms with the situation and to determine their next steps. Should any student wish to discuss returning home early, our staff stands ready to work with them compassionately and respectfully to help develop a path forward that includes full understanding of any academic and/or financial consequences. We will advocate, to the best of our abilities, with local universities, but we do not control the academic policies of host country universities. We are willing to explore with them alternative methods of securing academic credit should that be deemed possible.

Our offices in Portland are open from 9am to 5pm EST, but we do maintain a 24/7 emergency number that is available in times of urgency. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-40-STUDY.