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The Ultimate Guide to Travel Health

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International travel Medicine is a future trend. It is increasingly looked on as an area of specialized practice. Those providing services to travelers need to be familiar with full array of interventions available to ensure the health of persons traveling abroad. Certification in Travel Medicine is now available.

In  this post, we’ll provide an all-encompassing rundown of Travel Health , including an explanation of why Travel Health is important, how to enjoy a healthy safe travel and our  suggestions to a safe and healthy travel if you’re new to Travel Health Medicine.

Why Does Travel Health Medicine Matter?

We all have seen the last 2 years, how Covid-19 rapidly spread all over the world and how bad was the impact of Covid-19 infection on all our health, life, business and economy

The History of [Travel Health]

Check the pdf below to know more about the History of Travel Medicine.

Medical Travel vs Travel Medicine

Medical Travel is when patients combine their medical care with vacation time, usually in warm-climate destinations.

While Travel Medicine (or Travel Health), on the other hand, focuses on preventing the spread of infectious diseases by travelers. Click here for General Consideration for International Travel

Updates on Travel Health in U.S.

Check the videos below for more info.

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U.S. Public Health Service Recommendations Review of Routine Immunization

Individuals should review of their immunization records with their physicians or medical providers as the first agenda item in travel preparation. Routine immunization should be evaluated, including Tetanus, Diphtheria, pertussis/Tetanus and Diphtheria (Tdap, Td), Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR); Polio; Varicella; Haemophilus Influenza Type B (HIB); Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. For more info, Click here.

International Travel Health

International Travel Health

The number of people traveling abroad on an annual basis has increased dramatically during the past 30 years. Click here for Immunizations required under International Health Regulations & Vaccines Recommended for International Travelers and Vaccines Indicated for High Risk Populations within the U.S.

Supplemental Resources

APIC : https://apic.org/

WHO : https://www.who.org

United States department of State : https://www.state.gov

CDC : https://www.cdc.gov/

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene : https://www.astmh.org

8 common International Travel Health problems most travelers are at high risk

 

Author: Asmaa Badwy

Moving to far places needs many preparations to help you adapting with the new atmosphere, climate, altitude, people and environment. Today we will discuss how to do that to enjoy a safe travel journey.

1- Motion Sickness

Have you ever experienced one of the motion sickness symptoms while traveling abroad a cruise ship, boat, airplane or even a car?

How to manage motion sickness, if you are a person at risk?

Most individuals who face such problems while traveling may have encountered them before and know in advance what works for them under most circumstances.

Dimenhydrinate and Meclizine are over the counter medications that have withstood the test with time, work well for a variety of persons, and can be taken in anticipation of need.

Scopolamine Transdermal Patch can be applied only once every 72 hours and still maintain effective delivery of medication and specially useful if long periods of motion-induced nausea, such as might occur abroad ship, will be encountered.

Influenza Vaccine recommended for travelers boarding cruise ships

Even if traveling in spring or summer, individuals should consider getting influenza vaccine, if they did not receive it during the prior winter.

This is important because influenza outbreaks have occurred during the off season on ships that bring together persons from around the world, including southern hemisphere, where the flu season occurs during the months considered summer in the northern hemisphere.

2- Altitude Sickness

persons who usually live at lower altitudes may encounter serious problems when venturing to mountains areas or other higher elevations, especially if periods of long walking or other exertion may be required.

Such problems range from a mild or moderate headache, and difficulty sleeping to acute pulmonary or even cerebral edema.

How to enjoy your high altitude trip if you are a person of high risk altitude sickness?

Whenever possible, try to acclimate to the higher altitude slowly over a period of several days through gradual ascent. When this is not possible, use of prophylactic agents such as Acetazolamide may be considered. These medications maybe started 1 to 2 days before the ascent, and are usually maintained for 24 to 48 hours after arrival at the final altitude.

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3- Travelers Diarrhea

Known as Montezuma’s Revenge in some regions. It can be serious, but no need to prophylactic treatment with antibiotics because it is likely to develop organisms resistance. Moreover, the immediate use of medications such as Ciprofloxacin usually dramatically limits the duration of the illness. In some cases and areas, there are Ciprofloxacin-resistant bacteria, and Azithromycin may be provided. Loperamide may also be added for more acute or distressing symptoms.

4- Insects Bites

It is recommended to prevent insects bites by wearing appropriate clothing, using bed nets, and using approved insecticides whenever it is possible. Appropriate clothing may include permethrin-sprayed clothing, long sleeved tops, and closed-toe shoes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved 4 formulations of insecticides as being protective. Those include DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535. Travelers should be ensure applying insecticide after applying any sunscreen for well protection.

5- Food and Water Risks

“Don’t drink the water is an often-heard warning for persons traveling to developing countries. Although it is a good start for protection, the warning needs to be extended for the maximum. Here are some small tips to do that:

  • The safest beverages are carbonated drinks.
  • The safest food which is thoroughly cooked and hot served.
  • The safest fruit is what can be peeled.
  • The safest food should be canned and water should be bottled.
  • Check the seals of purchased water and don’t drink any water from a bottle that appears to have been tempered with.
  • Don’t use the running water for teeth brush. Instead, leave a bottle of water in the bathroom.

Whenever bottled water is not available, you can disinfect water by heat. check other methods like filtration, chlorine, iodine and ultraviolet light in the CDC Yellow Book.

6- Malaria

Appropriate use of insect repellents and barriers such as window screens, and mosquito nets are appropriate preventive measures, as well as treatment includes the use of medication in the form of chloroquine, mefloquine, atovaquone/proguanil, and doxycycline that suppress the red blood cell stage of the disease but can not completely eradicate all types of malaria. Check malaria medical treatment.

For that reason, people returning from the tropics who develop any symptoms such as fever, chills, or sweats after completing prophylaxis should be evaluated for malaria.

7- Animals

Feeding or petting dogs or cats not known to be immunized against rabies is not advised when traveling in countries where rabies is present. Any animal bite from a mammal should be evaluated by a medical practitioner, including consideration of the need for rabies treatment. Snake bites should be evaluated by a medical practitioner to determine the need for antivenom.

8- Swimming

Travelers should avoid swimming in unchlorinated water except giving fresh water or saltwater area to avoid skin, eye, ear and systemic infections ranging from Schistosomiasis to leptospirosis.

Hope this information help you in your next travel journey. I welcome you to share your thoughts in a comment and don’t miss Vaccines recommended for International Travelers

Continue reading “8 common International Travel Health problems most travelers are at high risk”

U.S Public Health Recommendations Review of Routine Immunization

Author: Asmaa Badwy

Individuals should review of their immunization records with their physicians or medical providers as the first agenda item in travel preparation. Routine immunization should be evaluated, including Tetanus, Diphtheria, pertussis/Tetanus and Diphtheria (Tdap, Td), Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR); Polio; Varicella; Haemophilus Influenza Type B (HIB); Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

Review of Immunization Records with Physicians

Polio

Due to wild-type polio virus since 1991, there have been no cases of polio in the western hemisphere. However a recent outbreak of poliomyelitis was noted in May 2013 in Somalia.

All persons traveling to countries where polio has not been eradicated should receive a primary series (at least 3 doses) of either IPV ( inactivated polio vaccine ) or oral polio vaccine.

Polio vaccination and Pregnancy

In general, it’s advisable to avoid polio vaccination in pregnant women unless immediate protection is required.

Polio Vaccination and Breast feeding

Breast feeding is not a contraindication in either mother or baby.

Varicella

Because Varicella-zoster virus circulates worldwide and routine use of Varicella Vaccine is low outside the United States, the risk of travelers may be significant. In tropical regions, chicken-pox occurs later in childhood or in adolescence, but also adults at risk should be immunized regardless the travel plan.

All persons traveling abroad should have evidence that they are immune to varicella, given one of the following:

A personal history of varicella or shingles, based upon a healthcare provider’s diagnosis.

Laboratory evidence of immunity: serologic testing before vaccination may be cost effective.

Proof of receiving 1 dose ( if less than school age ) or 2 doses ( if school aged or older ) of varicella vaccine, each given no earlier than 12 months of age and no sooner than 28 days apart.

Birth in United States before 1980

Those persons should not be vaccinated:

Persons with severe allergy to gelatin or neomycin, women known to be pregnant and persons with immunosuppressive disorders.

Hope this post help you know more about public health immunization review in U.S.

Read about Immunizations Required under International Health Regulations.