WHO advises against travel ban on Japan

While radiation levels in Japan are increasing, there is no reason for a travel ban to and from the country at this time.

Damaged nuclear plant

Damaged nuclear plant

That’s according to both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The UN agencies say radiation levels outside the exclusion zone surrounding the nuclear power plant are not considered a threat to public health.

They also say screening air travelers from Japan is unnecessary and are cautioning against self-medicating with potassium iodide. Gregory Hartl is from the World Health Organization in Geneva.

“For people coming from Japan, only those involved in the emergency response near the plant remain where there are higher levels of radioactivity. For their own safety all personnel there would under go decontamination procedures when they leave the site. In General travelers returning from Japan do not represent a health hazard. Potassium iodide should be taken only when there is a clear public health recommendation to do so. Indiscriminate use of the product can cause side-effects such as inflammation of the salivary glands, nausea, rashes, intestinal upset and possible severe allergic reactions.”

The WMO says severe winter conditions, which have been hampering the emergency response in hard to reach areas of Japan, are expected to ease in a few days.

Filed under Today's News.
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