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Travel Health - Topic Overview

What if you get sick while you are traveling?

If you become seriously ill while traveling, your country's embassy or consulate can help you find medical care. If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in malaria-risk areas, get medical help right away.

Diarrhea is the most common illness to strike travelers. Most cases of traveler's diarrhea get better in 1 to 3 days without treatment. But see a doctor if diarrhea lasts longer than 7 days, or if you have a high fever, blood or mucus in your diarrhea, or signs of dehydration.

Should you see a doctor when you return?

If you were healthy during your trip and you feel well when you return home, you probably don't need to see a doctor.

See your doctor when you get home if either of the following occurs:

  • You were sick with a fever or severe flu-like illness while traveling.
  • You develop these symptoms within 6 months of coming home.

Tell your doctor the places you visited and whether you think you may have gotten a disease. Many diseases don't show up right away. And some can take weeks or months to develop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about healthy travel:

Staying healthy while you're traveling:

Coming home:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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