March 3, 2016
The Texas Department of Public Safety, the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued warnings and safety tips for those going on spring break, which SMU will observe March 7-13.
CDC Advisory Regarding Zika Virus
Those traveling to Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Cape Verde or the Pacific Islands should be aware of travel notices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding Zika virus.
The CDC advises travelers to these areas to take enhanced precautions against mosquito bites. Women who are pregnant are advised to consider postponing their travel. Visit www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/ for a map of affected areas.
Students, faculty and staff planning to travel to regions where Zika virus transmission is active are urged to protect against mosquito bites, including:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use as directed EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or IR3535.
- Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents.
- Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.
Because rare cases of transmission by sexual contact have been reported, the CDC also recommends safe sexual practices.
Mexico Travel Warning
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain places in Mexico due to threats to safety and security posed by organized criminal groups in the country. U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery by organized criminal groups in various Mexican states. Click here for more information about the Mexico warning.
In addition, see the warnings the U.S. Department of State has issued for other countries throughout the world and its tips and advice for students going abroad. Those traveling out of the country can register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
Tips from the Texas Department of Public Safety
The Texas Department of Public Safety reminds everyone to drive responsibly and to take extra precautions as they make travel plans during spring break.
DPS offers the following safety tips:
- Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.
- Eliminate distractions while driving, including the usage of mobile devices.
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.
- Don’t drive fatigued, and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before your trip begins.
- Slow down or move over for tow trucks, as well as police, fire, EMS and Texas Department of Transportation vehicles stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law.
DPS troopers and local law enforcement in the coastal areas of Texas will also be keeping roads safer by enhancing enforcement efforts during spring break, looking for speeders, drunk drivers and seat-belt violators.