Travel Health - Topic Overview
How can you stay healthy on your trip?
way to stay healthy on your trip is to plan before you go. If you are planning
to travel to another country, see a doctor at least 6 weeks before you leave so
you will have time for vaccines (immunizations) that you may need to get
ahead of time.
Also ask your doctor if there are medicines or
extra safety steps that you should take. For example, if you have asthma, you may have to avoid stays in polluted cities. Or someone visiting the tropics may need to take medicine to prevent
Where can you get the best information?
use the Internet to find general travel health information. Just make sure that the
information is up-to-date and from a reliable source. See the following websites before you travel:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(www.cdc.gov/travel): This site has information on travel health and safety, required immunizations, and disease outbreaks.
- World Health
Organization (www.who.int/ith/en): You'll find information on travel, recommended immunizations, and disease outbreaks throughout the world.
- U.S. State Department (www.usembassy.gov): This site has information on where to get the best medical care in the region you are visiting. It lists every U.S. embassy
worldwide and lists some doctors and medical facilities in those countries. Take along the phone numbers and addresses of embassies in the areas
you will visit.
Which immunizations and medicines will you need?
Vaccines that may be recommended include those for:
If you plan to visit an area where malaria is common, start taking medicine ahead of time to prevent malaria infection.
What precautions should you take while you travel?
Before you go, learn about the places you plan to visit. For example, find out if the water
is safe to drink or if you need to worry about malaria.
Basic safety can prevent some
- Developing countries may not have safe
tap water. When visiting these places, drink only beverages made with boiled
water, such as tea and coffee. Canned or bottled carbonated drinks are usually a safe choice. Don't use ice
if you don't know what kind of water was used to make it.
- Do not eat raw vegetables, raw fruits, or raw
or undercooked meat and seafood.
- In malaria-infected areas, use DEET insect repellent. Wear long pants
and long-sleeved shirts, especially from dusk to dawn. Use mosquito netting to protect yourself from bites while you sleep.
- Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injury among travelers. If you drive, be sure to learn the custom and rules. If you
use hired drivers (such as in a taxi), don't be afraid to ask your driver to
slow down or to drive more carefully. Use seat belts if possible.