What are some of things I should think about when traveling?
sick can certainly ruin any trip whether it is for business or
pleasure. You will want to stay healthy by thinking ahead. The first
step, when planning a trip is making sure you think about your existing
medical conditions and any accommodation you might need en route or at
your destination. Secondly, you will want to consider any particular
risks that are specific to your destination.
What about these things I’ve heard about swine flu and other diseases you can get from other countries?
course, the recent outbreak of H1N1 influenza (AKA Swine flu) has
brought the issue of healthy travel to the forefront. The recent
outbreak was centered in and around Mexico city. Fortunately, those
cases that have occurred in the United States were less severe.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control are recommending that
nonessential travel to Mexico be restricted. There are no current
restrictions on domestic travel. For the most up to date information,
check with the CDC or your local health department.
What are the things I should do for travel even if I’m not going to Mexico?
depends on your destination. If you are going to an area that has
yellow fever, you will want to consider vaccination. If you are going to
an area that has malaria, you will require antimalarial preventative
medications. Of course, there is the consideration of traveler’s
diarrhea as well—this may require that you take special medications with
you. The best thing to do is to establish a clear itinerary and discuss
it with your doctor about six weeks before your trip. If there are
specific or unusual circumstances present, your doctor may refer you to a
Aside from infectious diseases, what other issues should I be aware of?
are many potential hazards while traveling that may affect your
health. These include sun and heat exposure, insects, altitude issues,
blood clots, motion sickness, and water safety to name a few. We will
cover the first two of these topics today.
Sun and Heat Exposure while traveling
on your destination and your activities, you may need to be
particularly cautious about sun exposure. Staying indoors during the
hottest/brightest part of the day may be the most prudent course of
action. Of course, drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration is
important. If you can gradually introduce yourself to the new, hot
environment, that can be helpful. Use sunscreen liberally, and try to
take frequent breaks from the heat and the sun. Wear a hat and
protective clothing as much as possible.
In summary, plan
your trip carefully, talk to your doctor several weeks before the trip
and check the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
as well as the World Health Organization for up to date information in
the days leading up to your trip. In future articles, we will cover
additional travel related illnesses as well as considering any chronic
illnesses you may have and how to seek medical care when you’re away