Gilbert, AZ (PRWEB) June 16, 2009
The World Health Organization has declared a global flu pandemic. The swine flu (H1N1) virus has spread to 74 countries, after first emerging in Mexico in April. Reports put the figure of affected people at 28,000 globally, with 141 deaths. The swine flu is the first flu pandemic in 40 years. The last flu case in Hong Kong in 1968 killed one million people.
"In response to concerned international clientele and summer travelers, we have put together a list of international health travel insurance for crisis situations," says Jeff Gulleson, President of Good Neighbor Insurance.
While symptoms are usually mild, there is concern that the virus might mutate to become more virulent. Yet so far, there is no sign of that.
Since this new strain of the flu virus appeared in March, countries around the world have been on alert. Global concern has focused on the fact that most people who have become ill are under 60.
In Mexico the virus has been fatal to a number of apparently healthy young people. Mexico, at 106 dead, also has the highest death toll. Deaths in the US stood at 27 on June 5, with a few more reported since.
Officials around the world have attempted to combat an epidemic by instituting stringent health screening measures. US officials warn international travelers from the US to expect travel delays in many countries. China in particular has quarantined numerous arrivals including a group of visiting Maryland school children and Mayor Nagin of New Orleans.
Travelers have concerns about the virus especially when traveling to Mexico. The virus has hit the Mexican tourist industry especially hard with hotels down to 25% occupancy. Travel experts at Good Neighbor Insurance understand the health risks of travel. "Travelers often think that by avoiding travel to Mexico or Arizona, they can avoid contracting the Swine Flu," comments Good Neighbor's President, Jeff Gulleson. "In a pandemic situation, the reality is much more complicated."
"Even healthy travelers can contract serious health conditions at any time and in any country," says Nelma Maxwell, Agent and Short Term Team Coordinator. "The best advice is to take common sense health precautions and make sure to purchase adequate insurance before you travel."
Travel insurance can give you the protection of overseas emergency medical insurance. Some plans also help you locate local medical help and even ensure that minor children left unattended because of your illness are returned to your family. Serious conditions often need medical evacuation to the US which is extremely expensive without travel insurance. One case of medical evacuation from Ecuador cost the family $55,000.
"International travel is a fact of life these days. But it doesn't have to become a nightmare," Maxwell continues.
The worst case scenario for any family is an overseas death. Without travel insurance, repatriating remains and the personal effects of a deceased loved one can be difficult and expensive. Life insurance can also cushion the financial blow of a loved one's death with an infusion of additional cash to pay for unexpected expenses.
Good Neighbor Insurance recommends insuring against the unexpected difficulties of international travel. A reliable travel insurance broker can help travelers locate the right plan no matter the length of the trip.