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Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts

Travel Warnings are issued by the US Department of State to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff. Current travel warnings can be found here.

If you plan to travel to a country currently under a travel warning issued by the Department of State, please contact the Vanderbilt International Office, as your trip may need prior approval from the Study Abroad Risk Assessment Committee (SARAC).

The State Department issues Travel Alerts to disseminate information about short-term conditions, generally within a particular country, that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related demonstrations or violence, and high-profile events such as international conferences or regional sports events are examples of conditions that might generate a Travel Alert. Current travel alerts can be found here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC issues different types of notices for international travelers. As of May 20, 2004, these definitions have been refined to make the announcements more easily understood by travelers, health-care providers, and the general public. The travel notice definitions range from "in the news" to "travel health warning". Definitions of each notice can be found here. Both levels of risk for the traveler and recommended preventive measures to take at each level of risk are described.

World Health Organization

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. A list of current outbreaks and risks worldwide is available here. The WHO also maintains a list of national or specialized websites, ministries of health, travel clinics or practitioners, where you can access information on health warnings from governmental health organizations.