For the World Youth Day pilgrim, being surrounded by hundreds of thousands of fellow Catholics for Mass will be a taste of Heaven. If one picks up an intestinal illness, however, the crowded Cuatro Vientos air base (the expansive site of the vigil and closing Mass), will provide a very different experience.
With that in mind, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a checklist for group leaders accompanying pilgrims to Madrid. Some items are preventative: Have your pilgrims been vaccinated? The CDC notes that there is a large measles outbreak in Europe right now. Do your youth know what to do in an emergency? Don’t call 9-1-1—it’s 1-1-2 in Spain. Pilgrims might consider purchasing travel health insurance, too, since their plan might not be covered outside their home country.
During the event, group leaders should ensure that their youth are stocked with hand sanitizer and sunscreen, and that they’re drinking lots of water in the searing Spanish heat. The CDC says that food in Europe is generally safe, but they remind travelers to wash their fruits and vegetables.
Visit the CDC website
for the full checklist.
Photo credit: CNS photo/SuraviaSA, handout via Reuters