Health and safety is all the talk for family travel as Alaskans are planning trips for spring break. That often means heading south to warmer weather. On the heels of the World Health Organization declaring the Zika virus an international public health emergency, Alaskans are wondering if it’s still safe to travel.


Tuesday, Erin Kirkland with AK on the Go joined Daybreak to touch on a few health and safety guidelines to consider when traveling south, like preparing a travel first-aid kit to protect against bugs. There are plenty of local Deet-free options for those who don’t like to use it, said Kirkland. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest travelers have it on hand.


“The CDC does recommend Deet for the Zika virus and dengue fever, as it is in Hawaii. But there are several beaches closed. You need to check with the CDC before you go, just in case,” said Kirkland.


Kirkland suggested the following for a travel first-aid kit:


Family Travel First-Aid Kit

    • Small bandages


    • Antibiotic cream


    • Over-the-counter pain management medication


    • Over-the-counter allergy medication


    • Antacids or something to soothe the stomach


    • Extra pair of sunglasses


    • Tweezers/nail clippers


    • Dental floss


    • Headlamp or flashlight


    • Baby shampoo (for minor skin irritants)


    • Antiseptic towelettes/alcohol wipes


    • Cortisone cream for bug bites


    • Duct tape


    • Plastic bags


    • Thermometer


    • Cold/cough medicine


    • Bug spray, sunscreen, aloe vera (or buy on-site)

Depending on your destination, you might add these to the list:

    • Anti-nausea medicine


    • Stomach antibiotic (Cipro or Levaquin)


    • General antibiotic (Z-Pak)

Don’t forget to check the expiration dates on all medicine items.


For a list of symptoms to look out for, watch the video above.



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