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Travel Health - Topic Overview

How can you stay healthy on your trip?

The best 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 several months 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 malaria.

Where can you get the best information?

You can 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.

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