The last thing you want to think about is illness when you are planning a trip. Factors such as whether your trip is for business, pleasure or mission relief, as well as destination, length of stay, activities and accommodations, will determine if your health risks are high, low, or somewhere in between. Also, certain health conditions like asthma, diabetes or pregnancy can dramatically increase your risk.
Before You Book Your Trip
- Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel website for up-to-date information on travel advisories. We advise against travel to any countries of level 2 or 3, even if it is just a layover. Levels will likely change with time so check the website regularly.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler program offered through the U.S. State Department. You will receive any updates specific to your travel locations, and it’s free!
- Talk to your health insurance provider about what options are available for medical coverage if you need to seek care outside the U.S. or need medical evacuation back to the U.S.
- Seriously consider purchasing the additional (usually optional) travel insurance from your airline or travel agency in the event that a medical issue or travel ban causes your trip to be canceled or postponed.
- There can be a lot of misleading and highly charged information during an outbreak. The most reliable sources of information are the CDC and your local and state Departments of Health.
- Talk to your doctor or a Travel Clinic professional about your travel plans. You may need specific vaccines, medications or a medical letter depending on your medical conditions and itinerary.
- Whether you are at home or traveling, always wash your hands (or use alcohol-based disinfectant), avoid touching your face, follow mask guidance, get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19 and stay home if you’re sick.
Contact the Travel Health Clinic or your primary care doctor or clinician for specific information and immunizations you need before you travel. During the visit, your provider will:
- Assess your health history and individual needs based on your itinerary.
- Provide you with the latest information on health risks.
- Discuss the required and recommended immunizations and medications.
- Administer vaccines and prescribe medications as needed.
Travel Health Clinic
Depending on your type of travel, it may be beneficial to visit our Travel Health Clinic. Physicians within the Travel Health Clinic are board-certified infectious disease specialists with expertise in travel medicine and global health. Our clinicians have been specially trained in the field of travel medicine. They provide comprehensive services to patients planning international travel. They work with patients to provide a customized travel plan to optimize their health and travel experience.
In addition to seeing patients, our doctors and clinicians are involved in medical education and research to advance the field of Travel Medicine and provide the highest quality of care for our patients.
When to visit the Travel Health Clinic
The Travel Medicine Clinic sees adults and children 15 years and older who are planning on travel to locations around the globe including Africa, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.
Our doctors and clinicians have experience in managing travelers with complex medical problems and encourage couples and families to come in together.
Our doctors and clinicians also have special interest in diagnosing and managing illness in patients who have recently returned from international travel.
What to expect during your appointment
- Medical history and assessment with one of our physicians, focusing on identifying location-specific infectious risks and finding approaches to reduce them
- Update routine and travel-specific vaccinations to prevent infection during travel
- Laboratory testing may be recommended to determine immunity to certain viral or bacterial infections
- Prescriptions for medications to prevent or treat: malaria, traveler’s diarrhea, motion sickness, jet lag, and altitude sickness
- Patient education on topics such as food and water precautions, insect precautions, injury prevention, infection prevention for medical personnel, animal bites, travel insurance and travel during pregnancy
- Long-term connection with our clinic: Our patients who travel frequently stay in contact with us and make follow up appointments as needed
Travel health questions to discuss with your doctor or clinician
We understand you may have a lot on your mind prior to traveling internationally. We are here to discuss these topics with you and answer any questions you may have. Below is list of topics you may want to discuss prior to travel abroad.
- Travel-specific immunizations
- Routine immunizations (with expertise in medically complex and high-risk populations)
- Special considerations for pregnant woman and the immunosuppressed
- Itinerary-specific health threats, including recent travel advisories
- Infection prevention and HIV post-exposure prophylaxis for medical personnel
- Food and water precautions
- Insect precautions
- Self-treatment of traveler’s diarrhea
- Malaria prophylaxis
- Altitude sickness
- Motion sickness
- Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism
- Jet lag
- Sun exposure
- Post-travel care for symptoms in those who have recently returned from overseas