How coronavirus could impact your travel

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As the coronavirus continues to spread, the warnings and messages from airlines and the CDC continue to change.

Despite that, doctors and travel agents both agree there’s no need to cancel any trips outside of the major affected areas.

“We’ve had a lot of clients reaching out to us, both on our corporate side and our leisure side just wanting to understand a little more about the coronavirus,” said Jason Reed, VP of business development for The Travel Agent, Inc in Carmel.

The spread of the virus has been a headache for travelers, as more places are seeing an uptick in cases.

“There’s just a lot of unknowns. Things are constantly changing,” Reed said. “We’re getting updates two and three times a day from our vendors and our airlines.”

The CDC suggests travelers avoid all non-essential travel to countries under “warning level three.” Right now, that includes China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. Other than that, travel should go on as planned.

“It’s not that we need to not travel, it’s just that we need to stay informed,” Reed said.

Even as cases begin to increase in the U.S., doctors say it’s not a reason to panic.

“There’s no reason to cancel any travel within the United States for sure,” said Robin Ledyard, chief medical officer with Community Health Network. “The information is changing so fast it’s hard to know what to recommend for things coming up like spring break.”

The virus will continue to spread since it is a new virus, and people should take normal precautions as with any illness.

“For you, if you’re not infected, we know that the number one best thing to do is wash your hands frequently,” Ledyard said. “As people get exposed to it, they have no immunity to it. They’ve never been exposed to it before. That’s why it’s much easier to get it.”

If you have a trip booked to one of the affected locations, it’s best to stay informed about the virus. Whether or not you can get your trip refunded depends on a lot of factors.

“The easy answer is, if you booked travel insurance, you have a better chance of getting your money back than if you did not book travel insurance,” Reed said. “But to try to go now and book travel insurance, the companies are not going to allow you to book that to be able to get your money back.”

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