Listed below are the Top 10 Travel Medicine questions that will provide a good starting point for planning the travel health aspects of your trip. Be prepared for your consultation with a travel doctor and know the answers to the following questions:
- Where Are Your Traveling To?
- How Long Will You Be There?
- Are You Traveling To Urban or Rural Areas?
- What Activities Will You Be Doing?
- Are You Pregnant or Traveling With Children?
- Do You Have A Weakened Immune System?
- Are You Currently Breast Feeding?
- Which Immunizations Have You Already Had?
- What Is Your Medical History And Current Status?
- Do You Have Any Allergies To Eggs Or Medications?
Care Spot Clinic
In keeping with Care Spots’s vision of providing easy access to urgent and immediate health care services, qualified travel doctors are available at seven (7) Care Spot Travel Clinics in North Florida, Central Florida, North Central Florida, South Florida and the Treasure Coast (see Clinic Locations). In addition to administering recommended or required travel immunizations, your Care Spot Travel Doctor will advise you as to any routine vaccines that you should have prior to your departure date. Based on your specific needs for safe travel, the doctor may also prescribe other medications, such as antiviral medications, to provide additional protection when traveling to areas where Western-style medical care may not be available. It may not be possible to prevent every medical situation that can be acquired during international travel but an experienced travel doctor can help you prepare to deal with unexpected illness or injury.
In accordance with the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations, yellow fever shots must be administered at a certified yellow fever vaccination center authorized by your state’s health department (NOTE: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not authorize providers for yellow fever vaccination). The CDC does maintain the U.S. Yellow Fever Vaccination Center Registry, a web-based directory of authorized yellow fever vaccination centers, to serve as a central reporting agency to facilitate accurate communications and simplify record tracking with vaccine providers. Each Care Spot Clinic is a registered Yellow Fever Vaccination Center. For international travelers that do not have a Care Spot Clinic nearby, you can contact the CDC at firstname.lastname@example.org for a prompt email response to your inquiry.
Yellow Fever Travel Waiver
Since there is no known treatment for yellow fever, travelers to certain sub-Saharan areas of Africa and tropical areas of South America (or any foreign country with official travel alerts for yellow fever), should have yellow fever shots provided he or she is over 9 months old and does not fall into one of the four groups where the risk associated with the yellow fever vaccine out-weigh the risk of catching the disease. These groups are: infants under 6 months of age, pregnant women, persons who are allergic to eggs, or persons with an immunosuppressed condition, such as AIDS or leukemia, or those undergoing certain drug or radiation treatments. If you or a member of your party falls into one of these groups, your travel doctor can help you determine whether you should be vaccinated, modify your travel itinerary, postpone your plans for travel or obtain a written medical travel waiver.*
*Most countries will accept a medical travel waiver for persons with a legitimate medical reason for not receiving a yellow fever vaccination. A yellow fever waiver should bear the stamp of an official yellow fever vaccination center to validate the International Certificate of Vaccination. It may also be useful to obtain a written waiver from the foreign country’s consular or embassy before your departure.
Although Malaria was eradicated in the United States in early 1950s, preventing malaria still remains a priority as about 1500 cases are diagnosed and treated each year. The majority of malaria cases stateside can be traced to first or second generation immigrants returning home to visit family and relatives (referred to as VFRs). International travelers to sub-Saharan Africa have the greatest risk of getting malaria and/or dying from the disease. But, travelers to other sub-tropical and tropical regions of South America and Southeast Asia should take precautions when traveling to endemic regions (see CDC’s Interactive Malaria Map to determine the risk of malaria by region and season).
Since malaria is caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito that feeds on humans, there are a number of preventative measures that your travel doctor may recommend for your protection such as:
- Malaria Pills
- Long-Sleeved Clothing
- Mosquito Netting for Beds
- DEET Insect Repellent
- Flying Insect Spray
- Air-Conditioned Lodging
- Avoiding Outdoors at Night
If you are traveling to an area or region with a high risk of contact for malaria, you should consider carrying a full malaria treatment course of medications with you. That way you will have immediate access to high-quality anti-malaria drugs if you are diagnosed with disease while traveling abroad.
Malaria Pills (also referred to as anti-malarial drugs) are one of the measures used by travel doctors to proactively treat travelers who catch the disease while traveling abroad. International travelers to areas where malaria is endemic must watch for the onset of flu-like symptoms that are usually accompanied by a sudden fever. If your country of destination is listed as an infected region, your travel doctor may recommend carrying an emergency supply of anti-malaria drugs in case the need for self-treatment arises. Those travelers who are planning extended stays in infected regions should discuss his or her intended activities, such as relief work outdoors, and travel accommodations, such as sleeping in emergency staff tents, with their travel doctor during their pre-trip consultation.