How to stay healthy when you travel abroad

July 02, 2018 | by Michelle Sweet-Albores, MD
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

Seeing the world is an awesome thing — but it’s no fun with a fever or diarrhea.

As many as 25 percent of Americans who travel abroad experience some type of illness during their trip. In a typical two-week trip, travelers can lose an average of three days because of illness.

Being generally healthy isn’t enough to protect you from some of the diseases you can contract outside the U.S.

Staying someplace for a short time isn’t good protection, either.

Even a long weekend trip puts you at risk of some pretty serious illnesses if you aren’t immunized.

That’s why a visit to our Travel Medicine Clinic really pays off. A travel medicine specialist can recommend immunizations based on where you’re going, what you’re doing there and your personal medical history.

You’ll leave the appointment with vaccinations and prescriptions personalized for you, as well as information about water and food safety and how to avoid (or treat, if needed) pitfalls such as traveler’s diarrhea and other common illnesses.

We recommend you make your appointment 4 to 6 weeks before your trip, to allow the vaccines enough time to become fully effective.

That seems like a lot of lead time, but really, planning ahead is essential to staying healthy while you’re traveling. Prevention should be top of mind, before you go and during your trip.

The Centers for Disease Control has a great international travel website with a wealth of information about how to stay healthy, as well as updates on health issues or disease outbreaks around the globe.

The World Health Organization also provides an excellent international travel website with updates and recommendations.

When you plan an international trip, you’ve got a lot of things to check off the list. Make sure a visit to the travel clinic is one of them!

Edward-Elmhurst Health travel medicine specialists can help you take proactive steps to stay healthy and make the most of your experience. Learn how we can help.

Michelle Sweet-Albores is a family medicine physician with Elmhurst Memorial Medical Group. View her profile and schedule an appointment online.

Related blogs:
Travel tips for cancer patients
What to do if you get sick on vacation

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