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CDC Offers Travel Tips for 2012 London Olympics

Plan ahead for travel to London.

CDC wants your travel experience to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games in London this summer to be healthy, safe, and memorable.

  • Make sure you are up to date on your routine vaccines, including measles. In 2011, some U.S. residents who traveled abroad got measles. When they returned to the U.S. they caused 17 measles outbreaks in various communities. To read more about measles in Europe see, the measles outbreak notice.
  • Learn how to access medical and emergency care in London, before you go. In the event of a serious illness or injury call 999, not 911. For minor illnesses and injuries, visit a pharmacy or walk-in center –no appointment is necessary.
  • Look right, look left, and look right again to avoid stepping into the path of traffic. In England, people drive on the left side of the road, not the right. Your safety is important. Road traffic is one of the leading causes of injury death to U.S. travelers in foreign countries.

Talk with your doctor about how to stay healthy and safe before, during, and after your trip to the summer Olympics and Paralympics in London.

“You need more than your passport to travel to major events like the Olympic Games. Crowds, new surroundings, and a ‘vacation’ mentality can lead to illness or injury, which can ruin your trip. London is like a major American city in many respects, but that doesn’t mean travelers should forget their common sense. With a little education and preparation, travelers can enjoy the Games, the country and great health.”

-Gary Brunette, MD, Branch Chief, CDC Travelers’ Health

“Before you go, it’s important to know if you’re protected against measles since there have been outbreaks in Europe and the UK. You are considered to be immune to measles if you were born in the U.S. before 1957 or have evidence from a doctor that you had measles. If not immune, make sure you get vaccinated before you travel to protect your own health and your community from this severe and potentially deadly disease.”

– Phyllis Kozarsky, MD, Travel Medicine Expert

"It's important to make a plan for your health before you travel. The National Health Service in England has great health resources for Olympic visitors that can help you learn how to find health care if you need it while in the UK. Visit Health Services in England to learn more."

–Kelly Holton, Lead Health Communicator, CDC Travelers’ Health

Are you heading to London for the Olympics? How do you prepare before traveling? Tell us in the comments!

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