"Getting ready to travel internationally
In certain parts of the world, particular viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites that are rare or unknown in this country are common. Your risk is increased if you are visiting a destination where you will come into contact with pathogens your body has not encountered. This makes it important to consult with a physician prior to departure to ensure that safety precautions are explained, and necessary prescriptions are obtained.
Because some immunizations take a certain length of time to become effective, it is preferable to have a medical consultation at least one month in advance, although immediate travel consults can generally be accommodated if necessary. Bring your itinerary it is essential that the doctor know which parts of the world will be explored in order to prepare the patient properly. In some cases, the CDC will recommend against any nonessential travel to areas where there are active outbreaks of severe disease.
Our Travel Medicine team will ask you a series of questions, including if you:
have chronic medical conditions
have compromised immune systems
are planning to travel on a cruise ship
are traveling with children
will be administering health care at your destination
will be providing disaster relief at your destination
Because diarrhea is by far the most common ailment suffered by travelers, physicians will usually prescribe medications in advance to treat gastrointestinal symptoms, including anti-diarrheal medications and/or antibiotics. Patients who become ill after returning home should be medically evaluated by a doctor familiar with their recent excursion in case their disease condition was contracted abroad.
Most often, the diseases patients become infected with during travel are spread by bacteria or insect bites. Viruses may also be the cause of a traveler"s illness. In many cases, precautions other than medication, such as using mosquito netting, wearing masks or insect repellents, or purifying water at the destination, are also advised by the CDC."