Stay Healthy…Schedule a Travel Consult with Your Physician Before You Leave
Peak travel season is approaching, and Americans are traveling outside the US more than ever before. Regardless of the destination, it’s important to be aware that you may be exposed to various organisms that can cause serious illness. We’re here to keep you well wherever you go, so please schedule a consult with us before your trip to ensure safer, healthier travels.
Why is a travel consult important?
A travel consult in our office will assess the full risk of travel in a specific country, including an assessment of local diseases, current illness outbreak and health risks, travel warnings, local antibiotic resistance and recommended vaccines. We’ll also consider your itinerary, including the type of travel (urban, rural, even elevation above sea level) the focus of the trip (adventure, medical mission, etc.), the timing of the trip (dry vs. rainy season), and the countries visiting/traveling through. Most importantly, we’ll review your baseline health and your ability to complete the trip safely, based on your personal risk factors. This is essential because most medical issues experienced during travel are related to your individual risks rather than accidents or infections present in the country you’re visiting. We’ll then provide guidance and medical recommendations that will help keep you healthy throughout your trip.
When should I schedule my travel consult?
Ideally 4-6 weeks prior to travel, as most vaccines need 2 weeks to be fully effective. The exception is immunizations for hepatitis, which require 6 months to complete the series of shots. However, it is never too late to schedule a travel consult, as even a last-minute appointment can help prevent illness.
What do I need to bring to a travel consult?
- Immunization records
- Travel itinerary, including duration of stay at each location and types of activities planned
- Recommendations of the organizing group or travel company
NOTE: We highly recommend you visit the CDC Travelers Health website https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel and read about your specific destinations prior to your trip.
What else should I consider?
- Personal medication required for the length of the trip
- Need for a doctor’s note to travel with items like syringes
- Over-the-counter medications for diarrhea and motion sickness