Lori Arndt, P.A.-C.
As you get ready to travel to another country, there are many details to coordinate and plan. One of the most important details to consider is making an appointment to see a travel medicine specialist.
A travel medicine specialist assesses travel-related risks, and provides information to ensure your health and safety while minimizing any undesirable effects while traveling. During a consult, the travel medicine specialist will share medical expertise with you about travel-related illnesses, risk factors of infectious and noninfectious diseases, required immunizations, health regulations and drug-resistant organisms.
Here are nine reasons why it’s important for you to see a travel medicine specialist:
- Reduce the likelihood of becoming ill during travel.
- Learn to prevent and treat traveler’s diarrhea, the most common travel-related illness.
- Review food and water precautions. Contaminated food and water can pose a risk for travelers, many of which are transmitted via the fecal-oral route, swallowing or coming in contact with contaminated water, such as fresh water, marine water or pools.
- Ensure protection against vaccine preventable illnesses, such as Hepatitis A or typhoid, and that other routine vaccinations are current.
- Discuss medications to prevent malaria, which is a potentially life-threatening illness.
- Learn the risks for infection from mosquito-borne illnesses and steps to take for protection.
- Get the vaccination and a yellow card certificate if traveling to a country where yellow fever vaccine is recommended or required.
- Discuss proactive steps to prevent jet lag, motion sickness, altitude illness and blood clots.
- Evaluate overall health in relation to travel and how to manage preexisting conditions.
No matter the reason for travel — vacation, business, studying abroad, visiting friends or relatives or medical tourism — always be prepared, and take steps to ensure your health and safety.