Few things are more enriching and personally rewarding than travel. By experiencing the food, culture, and language of other places, we expand our understanding of the world. Part of having a positive travel experience involves taking precautions to prevent illness. Travel medicine is a branch of medical practice that specifically focuses on providing the means of avoiding disease while traveling outside the country. At Apex Medical Center, David Ezeanolue, M.D., C.I.M.E., Alafuro T. Oruene, M.D., Blanche Y. Bonnick, M.D. and the other healthcare professionals provide travel medicine as one of many services available to patients from in and around Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada.
Different areas of the world pose different health risks to travelers, so your risk is largely determined by your destination. Health risks also depend on your general health, the type of transportation and housing you plan to use, and the activities you intend to engage in while abroad.
These are some common health risks for certain parts of the world:
Travel to Africa poses an increased risk of contracting malaria, which continues to be a severe health concern throughout the continent. Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies are also present in this part of the world.
In South American countries, malaria is still a pressing concern. Yellow fever is a risk in some areas of Argentina, and this part of the world has seen a recent cholera epidemic. South America also struggles with many types of diseases transmitted through insect bites and stings.
Americans who are planning to travel to Asia are encouraged to get vaccinations to protect against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio, tetanus, and yellow fever. Additional precautions may be required, depending on the area you’re planning to visit.
Scheduling a pre-travel health appointment is an excellent way to protect your health during travel. In many ways, this exam is similar to any routine physical. Your doctor begins by asking about your medical history and reviewing any health issues or medications you take.
A general physical exam follows, including a check of your heart and lung function, blood pressure, and other essential health matters. Your doctor may ask you to provide blood or urine samples for further screening.
Part of a pre-travel exam involves a thorough review of your vaccination record. If you haven’t received vaccines recommended for travel, you can obtain them during your visit. Your doctor also talks to you about preventive actions you can take while abroad.
Getting a pre-travel exam is an important step. Beyond that, travelers can take additional precautions to protect against disease. Savvy travel practices include:
Don’t let concerns over illness prevent you from seeing the world. Just make sure to schedule a pre-travel appointment with Apex Medical Center to access current information and vaccinations before your trip.