5 Reasons To Visit a Travel Medicine Clinic Before Going Abroad

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With vaccination rates rising, many of us are beginning to think about international travel again. It could be a solo climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, a couple’s safari in Africa or a family trip to the Great Wall of China.

Regardless of where your visit to an exotic destination may be, it’s important that you are able to enjoy the time away. While a trip to any exotic locale is sure to be memorable, it also comes with health risks. A visit to a travel medicine clinic can help address these risks.

Why Visit a Travel Clinic?

“A visit to a travel clinic can help a traveler avoid minor illness, which may be inconvenient or spoil part of a trip -- and more important -- can help prevent life-threatening illnesses like malaria, typhoid fever or yellow fever,” says infectious disease specialist Keith Armitage, MD, a physician with the UH Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine and Global Health.

Here are a few key reasons to visit a travel medicine clinic for your needs before traveling abroad, Dr. Armitage says:

Get Vaccinated

Vaccinations will prevent you from illness and infection while abroad. When you travel, you may encounter diseases you may not already be vaccinated against, which are not present in the United States, such as yellow fever. You may even need several immunizations to keep you protected on your trip, depending on where you go.

Obtain Medicine to Treat Illnesses

When you visit a travel medicine clinic, you may be prescribed medication for common illnesses for general travel overseas as well as illnesses specific to your location.Medication can be used to treat motion sickness, diarrhea, malaria and other issues while you're abroad.

Receive Education on Food and Water Safety

You will also want to be aware of what is safe to eat and drink while on your trip. A travel medicine expert can provide insight on safe food and water habits for your destination. Regardless of destination, it is important you wash and sanitize your hands frequently, especially before eating, to limit your risk of illness.

Understand Safety Requirements for Special Health Needs

Not all travelers are created equally and may have different health and safety concerns. If you are pregnant, have a weakened immune system, or are an older adult, you might need additional or different vaccinations to ensure your safety. A travel medicine physician can provide specific health care expertise for your needs.

Discuss Safe Travel Habits

Your travel medicine provider will also share specifics around safe travel with you. This may include mention of traveling in groups at night and monitoring alcohol consumption. Your travel medicine expert will want to ensure you adhere to practices that maximize your enjoyment and minimize your risk of illness on a trip.

Related Links

As you think about planning for your health care needs for your next big trip, the clinicians at the UH Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine and Global Health are ready to help you prepare to be safe and healthy while you build lifelong memories.

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