South Korea

South Korea travel alert raised to level 3 – Vaccination before travel

South Korea travel alert raised to level 3 – Vaccination before travel


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 travel alert for South Korea.

On February 24, 2020, the CDC advised international travelers to avoid all non-essential travel to South Korea due to the widespread and ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which may lead to COVID-19 disease in people.

Certain areas south of Seoul city have reported widespread outbreaks of COVID-19 disease.

In response to the outbreak, the US military stationed in South Korea has been placed on high alert.

In addition, the CDC Travel Alert states, “Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions may be at increased risk for severe illness.” Access to adequate medical care in affected areas is limited.

Although human-to-human transmission of the virus has been reported, risk factors for the disease are unknown.

Signs and symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Some patients also reported sore throat. Some patients also report diarrhea without other symptoms.

If you must travel to South Korea, CDC recommends discussing your South Korea travel plans with your healthcare provider.

If you have been in South Korea within the past 14 days and feel sick, have a fever or cough, or have trouble breathing:

  • Do not travel when sick.
  • Seek medical attention.
  • Before you go to your doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead. Tell them about your recent travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with other people.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve, but not your hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.

Healthcare providers should obtain a detailed travel history of patients with fever or acute respiratory symptoms.

For patients who have been in South Korea and become ill within 2 weeks of departure and develop these symptoms, consider novel coronavirus and notify infection control and local health authorities immediately.

Although the route of transmission has not been clearly identified, the CDC advises caution in treating patients under investigation.

  • Such patients are required to wear a mask as soon as they are identified. Perform patient assessment in a private room with the door closed, preferably an airborne infection isolation room if available.
  • Those entering the room should use standard precautions, contact precautions, and airborne precautions, and use eye protection (goggles or face shield).

For additional healthcare infection control recommendations, visit CDC’s Infection Control webpage.

Coronavirus Outbreak Travel Alert issued by Vax-Before-Travel.



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