Travelers advised over Zika virus

UNITED STATES (Feb. 4, 2016) – Travelers advised over Zika virus

The Centers for Disease Control has updated its travel advisories regarding the Zika virus in light of recent outbreaks in the Americas.

The alerts recommend that travelers take enhanced precautions when traveling to numerous countries in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, and Cape Verde. The list of countries where the virus has been reported can be found in the CDC notices.

On Monday, the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency, but did not recommend travel restrictions.

The Zika virus is transmitted to humans through infected mosquitos, and a recent Texas case confirmed that it can spread through sexual contact. The virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her unborn child, and health authorities are investigating a connection between the virus and microcephaly in newborns, a condition that stunts brain development. 

At this time, there is no vaccine or cure for Zika. The CDC recommends that all travelers to regions where Zika has been reported protect themselves against mosquito bites, and encourages pregnant women to consider postponing travel to any area where the Zika virus is ongoing. Pregnant women who must travel and women trying to become pregnant should consult their doctor before travel and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.

BAL Analysis: At this time, the CDC has not raised its travel alerts to its highest level (avoid nonessential travel), but recommends that travelers take enhanced precautions when traveling to regions that have reported the virus. The CDC has posted additional information on its website.

- Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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Career Best: Expats Put Switzerland On Top, But It’s Not Just About the Money

There are many reasons for becoming an expat, but one of the biggies is career advancement. A move abroad can mean more interesting work, better money, or just a healthier work/life balance.

As part of their global expat survey, which looks at everything from food to funds for expats, HSBC HSBA.LN -4.35% has now crunched the numbers relating to careers.(The broader survey results appeared in September.) The survey found that Switzerland is rated by expats as the best choice for a career abroad.

The latest set of figures from the the Expat Explorer survey, which is conducted byYouGov, asked 21,950 people based in more than 100 countries about their experience. They said that Switzerland was the best all-round destination for a career abroad: There’s excellent earning prospects (think of all those banking jobs—not to mention the currency effect) and it’s nice, as well. Almost two thirds of expats in Switzerland said the country offers higher salaries than at home, while 53% praise the working culture and 43% feel more secure in their job.

Carolyn Bandel moved to Zurich from London seven years ago, to work for financial news service Bloomberg, but liked the city so much she stayed and moved into public relations. She now works in the media relations team in the global reinsurer Swiss Re. “Switzerland is no land of milk and honey, but its stability and general wealth make for an attractive and diverse job market,” she said. “Swiss laws also apply to foreign workers, so we get 25 days of holiday and equal pay conditions.”

Then there’s the appeal of Zurich itself, which always features highly inMonocle’s list of livable cities. “The quality of life is tremendous. Everything works and is on time, and the place is super clean,” said Ms. Bandel. “Public transport is amazing and there’s lots of nature on your doorstep, which is great if you’re into skiing or hiking or both.”

European countries dominate the table, especially when it comes to expats who know that life is about more than just money. Those in Sweden enjoy the best work/life balance in the world, with 72% of expats there finding a better balance than at home. Just look at their policy on paternity leave, which sees most men taking at least two months off. Meanwhile, the U.K. is seen as one of the best places to develop skills. Nearly three in five expats say the country offers them a better chance to do this.

Europe scored highly for job security, but if your idea of a fulfilling career is all about the cash, head east. The majority of expats in Qatar (67%), the United Arab Emirates (62%) and Bahrain (61%) say they earn more now than they did at home. If your goal is a bigger paycheck but you prefer tropical downpours to desert dryness, two-thirds of expats in Singapore say their earning prospects are better than at home, and 68% of those in Hong Kong feel that way. Beware, however, you may not have time to enjoy the dim sum: Only 28% of expats in Hong Kong say their work/life balance has improved.

If you’re considering your next move, the global survey data is available as a careers tool. “It’s all down to what you want to get out of a career specifically during your time abroad,” said Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat. “Thousands of expats have made the move before you, now you can learn from their experience.”


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