Are you ready for your international adventure? You’ve got your flight booked and taken time off work, now is a good time to investigate whether there are any health risks at your destination.
Travel clinics are a great resource for advising and preparing travelers with the appropriate immunizations and medications for your travel destination. Getting ill on your travels is the last thing you want, it’s much smarter to be prepared. If you’ve never been to a travel clinic, here’s what to expect and how to prepare.
Before You Travel
Try to book your travel clinic appointment at least 4-6 weeks before your trip. It’s important to book early since many travel vaccines come in a series and need to be administered according to a specific schedule.
Your Travel Clinic Appointment
A travel clinician will ask you detailed questions about your itinerary and your plans for the trip. Will you be in a remote area with no clean water, will you be camping in mosquito-infested areas, or will you be staying in a luxury resort? All these considerations will determine if you’re at any health risk while traveling.
Many travel clinics use travel health information databases to identify local health risks, such as Rabies, Malaria, Dengue, Zika Virus, and other infectious diseases. Based on this information, your travel plans, and your health status, the clinician will identify key health risks you need to be aware of and protected from.
Travel immunizations are a common way to prevent travel-related illnesses in many countries. Depending on where you’re going and which vaccinations you’ve had in the past, you may get one, two, or several vaccinations during the same appointment. Common travel vaccines include Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, and Hepatitis A. These vaccines are safe and getting vaccinated will go a long way toward keeping you healthy.
Unfortunately, neither Malaria nor Dengue Fever is preventable through vaccination. Malaria can be prevented with anti-malarial medication while Dengue Fever currently does not have a preventative medication, but your travel health specialist can advise you on how to prevent mosquito bites.
Using common sense with prevention in mind is the key to a safe and healthy trip.