Travel Guard® medical expert clarifies best – and worst – ways for travelers to protect themselves from springtime bugs
HOUSTON (March 3, 2017) – Compared to recent years, the 2016-2017 flu season, now at its peak, is shaping up to be relatively severe. In the U.S., the flu hospitalization rate was 29.4 per 100,000 people the week of Feb. 10, compared to a rate of 5.1 per 100,000 people during a comparable week in 2016,1 and pneumonia and mortality rates have now passed epidemic thresholds.2 For those taking advantage of off-season deals and Spring Break vacations to travel in March, this trend may be especially alarming – after all, experts say crowded spaces, new germs, recirculated air, and jet lag can make travelers more vulnerable to the flu.
While travelers may choose to recommit to timeless prevention techniques, like getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids, this flu season, they may also want to brush up on less intuitive factors that may affect their ability to stay well on the road. With this in mind, AIG Travel Global Medical Director Dr. William Spangler has provided a list of lesser-known flu season “do’s” and “don'ts” to clarify common misconceptions about this serious illness, and give travelers the best chance of enjoying their trips in good health.
This flu season, AIG Travel and Dr. Spangler recommend the following to travelers:
This flu season, travelers may also consider purchasing travel insurance as a way to protect their purchase if they or a family member falls ill before a trip, and to help ensure they have the resources and support they need in the event this happens during a trip. Many insurers offer 24/7 assistance services which can connect travelers to medical experts who can assess their case, as well as evacuation coverage to transport travelers home or to a hospital of their choice in the event of an emergency.
# # #
About AIG Travel and Travel Guard
AIG Travel, Inc., a member of American International Group, Inc., is a worldwide leader in travel insurance solutions and assistance. Travel Guard® is the marketing name for its portfolio of travel insurance solutions and travel-related services, including assistance and security services, marketed to both leisure and business travelers around the globe. Services are provided through a network of wholly owned service centers located in Asia, Europe and the Americas. For additional information, please visit our websites at www.aig.com/travel and www.travelguard.com.
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization serving customers in more than 100 countries and jurisdictions. AIG companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers through one of the most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement services in the United States. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group, Inc. For additional information, please visit our website atwww.aig.com. All products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. Products or services may not be available in all countries, and coverage is subject to actual policy language. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Certain property-casualty coverages may be provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds, and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.