Are You Ready to Travel Internationally?
Rates of international travel have continued to grow substantially in the past decade according to the Centers for Disease Control (2012). The World Tourism Organization stated that there were an “estimated 880 million international tourist arrivals in 2009 throughout the world”. Reasons for travel vary including tourism, business, studying abroad, research, visiting family and friends, ecotourism, adventure, medical mission work, or responding to an international disaster. Today’s travelers range from the young to the old and their health conditions are diverse including those with pre-existing medical conditions. All travelers should prepare and plan for their trip well in advance.
“The risks of becoming ill or injured during international travel depends on many factors, such as the region of the world visited, a traveler’s age and health status, the length of the trip, and the diversity of planned activities.”
– CDC 2012
Infectious disease risks that travelers can encounter are dynamic. While some travel destinations have become safer, others, unfortunately, may have seen new diseases emerge or other diseases have reemerged.
International travel requires careful planning. The traveler needs to understand the health risks that traveling internationally may pose and be actively involved in preparing for healthy travel.
The traveler should:
- Gather Destination Information including specific details of the trip (lodging, food, and activities planned).
- Seek and Follow Pre-Travel Health Advice from your physician or travel clinic. Schedule the appointment as soon as possible prior to your departure.
- Avoid Travel When Sick. Postpone a trip if you are sick to avoid spreading a disease.
Here at Southwest Family Physicians we offer a comprehensive Pre-travel consultation with a registered nurse that includes:
- Advice on any health warnings or advisories for the area of travel and precautions to follow.
- Recommendations and administration of the appropriate vaccinations as selected by the traveler for that area of visitation.
- Education, as necessary, concerning food-borne illnesses and insect-transmitted illnesses such as Malaria.
Schedule your appointment today. Pre-travel consultations should be scheduled as soon as possible due to several vaccinations requiring two or more doses to develop adequate resistance to the disease. Prepare wisely for a safe trip!