Traveling Abroad this Summer?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a terrific list of things to consider regarding your medical care while traveling abroad. Listed below are some of the key considerations. For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel/contentStudyAbroad.aspx. In addition to these tips, you can get suggestions on traveling with children, pets, or cruise travel, as well as what you can do to prevent illness while traveling.
- Check with your doctors to make sure you are up-to-date with all routine vaccinations (i.e., measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, influenza, and polio). Diseases such as measles and mumps remain common in many parts of the world, including some developed countries.
- The section of the CDC Travelers' Health Web site entitled "Travel Medicine Clinics" has information about locating a travel medicine specialist or a travel clinic.
- It is especially important that you consult a health-care provider who specializes in travel medicine if you have a complicated travel itinerary (e.g., travel to rural areas of developing countries) or have a current medical condition that will need to be managed while abroad.
- Go to cdc.gov/travel to educate yourself about any disease risks and preventive measures for the countries where you plan to study. You can click on the country for specific information.
- Prepare a travel health kit that includes
o an ample supply of your prescribed medications in their original, clearly labeled containers (copies of all prescriptions should be carried, including the generic names for medications, and a note from the prescribing physician on letterhead stationery for controlled substances and injectable medications);
o an antidiarrheal medication;
o alcohol-based hand gel (containing at least 60% alcohol);
o an antibiotic for self-treatment of most causes of acute bacterial illness;
o a thermometer;
o insect repellent containing at least 30% DEET if you plan to study in or visit a tropical or subtropical area;
o the name and telephone number of your primary health-care provider;
o a copy of your vaccination record.
- Familiarize yourself with basic first aid so you can self-treat minor injuries.
- Consider a health insurance plan or additional insurance that covers medical evacuation in case you become sick or injured, if your plan does not already offer this service. Information about medical evacuation services is provided on the U.S. Department of StateWeb page, http://travel.state.gov/travel. This is especially important if you have a pre-existing medical condition. The U.S. Department of State provides links to U.S. Embassy or Consulate websites for the country or countries you are visiting that can assist in locating "Doctors/Hospitals Abroad." Several private travel medicine organizations provide assistance in locating medical care abroad; see "Seeking Health Care Abroad" in CDC Health Information for International Travel 2008.
August Health Observances
Aisles of Smiles Month, Cataract Awareness Month, Children's Eye Health and Safety Month, Immunization Awareness Month, Neurosurgery Outreach Month, Psoriasis Awareness Month, Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month