Before leaving to go out of the country, a traveler should consult with a physician. During the consultation, a physician and traveler will discuss any potential risks and necessary vaccinations.
A pre-travel consultation will cover:
- The health background of the travel including past medical history and special conditions
- The trip Itinerary
- The trip duration
- Travel style
- Necessary immunizations
- Potential health risks
A physician will also discuss likely exposures. This will include risks of injury, foodborne and waterborne infections, respiratory tract infection, bloodborne infections and sexually transmitted infections.
After traveling, a traveler should return to their physician for a post-travel consultation. A physician can help a returning traveler determine if they have any symptoms of travel-related diseases. A physician will also keep track of a patient’s travel history.
Immunizations are a crucial part of a pre-travel consultation. This includes ensuring that routine vaccines are up to date while determining which, if any, new vaccines will be needed. Depending on where a traveler is going will depend on what vaccines and preventive medications will be necessary.
Preventive and self-treatment medications include:
- Malaria chemoprophylaxis
- Self-management of travelers’ diarrhea
- Treatment for acute mountain sickness, motion sickness, jet lag or severe allergic reactions
Vaccines that may need to be updated or considered before traveling include:
- Hepatitis vaccinations
- Measles, mumps, rubella
- Yellow Fever
A list of which vaccinations are needed for each country a traveler will be visiting can be found on the Center for Disease Control’s website.