Russia is warning its citizens not to travel abroad this holiday season because of a variety of health risks. For instance, the Russians believe that their citizens might contract the bubonic plague by visiting the United States.
The warnings were issued by the head of the consumer protection agency in Russia, Anna Popova. The agency is advising Russians to stay domestic during the ten day New Year’s holiday. Russia has also cited the popular vacation spots of Egypt, Turkey and Thailand as being particularly risky.
In recent weeks, tension between Russia and Turkey has been mounting after Turkish forces shot down a Russian fighter jet in Syria. Earlier this year, a Russian commercial aircraft was shot down over Egypt by ISIS, killing all 224 people on board.
On Saturday, Popova also warned Russians of visiting Europe and the United States. Popova said that Russians visiting Europe risked getting a dangerous infection by coming into contact with the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. She added that people traveling to the United States are at risk for contracting the bubonic plague.
While many people believe that the bubonic plague hasn’t existed since the Middle Ages, it turns out that there were actually at least ten cases of bubonic plague in the United States this year alone. Still, the deadly disease is extraordinarily rare, and the odds of contracting it are virtually zero. Most cases of bubonic plague occur in rural areas, and they almost never occur during winter months.
This hasn’t stopped the Russians from using it as an excuse to recommend avoiding travel to the United States. It appears that Russia wants to isolate itself as much as possible during this tense period. This only further fuels the perception that the United States and Russia are still in a “Cold War” period.
Meanwhile, Russia is continuing to conduct airstrikes in Syria. The forces of Vladimir Putin are still attacking Syrian rebel groups in an effort to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power. Many Western nations such as the United States have said that Assad must be brought down using whatever means necessary.