If you’re planning on traveling to the US anytime soon; read this.
Okay, don’t freak out, but theres a potentially catastrophic hurricane and a virus in parts of the US at the moment.
Both of these, plus added precautions, could effect your travel plans – unless you keep reading of course.
Watch out for the weather:
Worst news first: Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic Category Five Hurricane, is projected to make landfall in south Florida on Sunday 10 September (local time).
Travellers (and locals) can expect hurricane-like conditions, including high winds, heavy rain and storm surges, from around 8 September, according to http://smartraveller.gov.au.
Re: the impending hurricane, the website also said that authorities are warning that the storm could also impact other parts of the south-eastern United States and the eastern seaboard.
So much impact, infact, that states of emergency have been declared in Florida, parts of Georgia and both North and South Carolina. It’s for the best, though: a state of emergency prepares and activates emergency services if they’re needed.
If you’re heading anywhere near these areas, make sure to follow local authorities’ instructions and double check local media reports.
If you’re on a tour or airline service – better double-check those as well, because they may have been affected.
In addition to Hurricane Irma, there are also heavy rains due to Tropical Storm Harvey causing severe flooding in parts of Texas – where evacuations are in place.
If you’re travelling here, transport is super duper affected (obviously) but a midnight – 5am curfew has been introduced in Houston city to ensure public safety.
Stay away from mozzies:
Florida is clearly having a bit of bad luck lately; as well as the impending hurricane of doom, there’s also an ongoing transmission of Zika virus in southern Florida as well as Cameron County, Texas.
Zika is mostly spread by the bite of a specific type of mosquito – and thankfully is not present in Australia – but has been found in the US.
There’s no vaccine. But luckily, most people infected with the virus will have mild symptoms or none at all. These include a fever, rash, headaches, joint and muscle pain and red eyes.
Symptoms only last up to a week – but unless you’re really unlucky, you won’t require a hospital bed. Still, wear long sleeved clothing and insect repellant outside if you don’t want to chance it.