The CDC issued a number of travel warnings Friday evening, including a Level 3 travel warning for Italy and Iran. That means Americans should avoid non-essential travel to those countries. CDC had previously issued similar warnings for China and South Korea. (The U.S. State Department urges U.S. residents to avoid all travel to China for now.)
Meanwhile, the elderly and those with medical conditions should consider rescheduling travel to Japan, which has a level 2 warning. And travelers to Hong Kong should take precautions like avoiding people who are sick and washing their hands.
Airlines are also taking notice.
"If you're traveling in a couple weeks, sit tight," said Pauline Frommer, the president of the Frommer's guidebooks and Frommers.com. "If things get really bad, the travel industry will institute fee-free cancellations and change fees."
Major American companies have canceled non-essential business travel. And the Archdiocese of New York will require Catholic school students and teachers returning from overseas travel to get a doctor's note clearing them to return to school.
"If you're traveling, consider getting medical travel insurance in case something goes wrong internationally that will give you access to doctors and hospitals without an elevated cost," Frommer said.