Today’s blog comes to us from our CWH Nurse Practitioner and avid traveler, Kathy Woods:
You are going on your dream vacation or honeymoon, don’t let poor planning land you in an urgent care away from home or in line for hours waiting for medicine or sick instead of having fun.
Schedule a Pre-travel Health Consultation.
Ideally, you should see a health care provider at least 4 to 6 weeks before travel, especially for international travel. This could be with your primary health care provider or infectious disease specialist. Even better, a Travel Health Specialist has the latest information on outbreaks at any ports of call, as well as information about health concerns specific to cruise ships and/or countries around the world. Passport Health is the largest provider of travel medicine services in the US. Many infectious disease specialists will also give these vaccinations. Your local health department is also a resource for vaccine information and administration.
Domestic or International Travel? How to Stay Healthy According to the Center for Disease Control.
Many travel vaccines may require multiple shots and take time to become fully effective but if you are leaving on a sudden trip a visit to your primary care provider or a travel medicine facility is still valuable. Some vaccines may give only partial protection, but some is better than none, and your provider can give you good information on ways to stay safe and reduce your risk of illness or injury on your trip. For detailed information regarding specific destinations check www.cdc.gov/travel/page/survival/guide.htm
Unsure of Your Vaccination History? Titer Testing is for You!
Antibody titer testing measures the body’s immunity to disease. Titer testing helps determine which vaccines are needed when records are lacking. Titer tests are available for all individuals at all Passport Health clinic locations or at your primary care provider’s office.
Travelling alone? Top Safety Tips for Travelers.
Research the destination and local culture. Pay special attention to weather, health and safety hazards, food and water and be sure not to wander into unsafe areas. The CDC website offers destination-specific information about food and water, and visit the State Department’s travel alert list for specific safety hazards for American travelers. Share your itinerary with at least 2 friends or family members, stay connected and keep someone updated to your whereabouts. Secure valuables and utilize the hotel safe. Prescription Medications should be in their original containers, and keep several days’ worth in your carry-on bag in case of lost luggage. Be sure to consider destination climate and temperature guidelines when packing medications. Consider your health status and pack over the counter medications for diarrhea, constipation motion sickness or the common cold if you think necessary. Don’t forget travel health supplies such as sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and first aid items.