Each year, more and more Americans travel internationally. CareMount Medical encourages patients to be proactive and take steps to anticipate issues that may arise during a trip.
Learning about your destination before traveling is essential, says Dr. Raffalli. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) post country specific travel notices and warnings on their websites. Check out the information updated regularly at www.cdc.gov and www.who.int.
Dr. Raffalli also suggests making an appointment with your primary care physician or a specialist in infectious disease/travel medicine at least 4-6 weeks prior to traveling. Remember to discuss pertinent details about your trip with your doctor such as: what country or countries you will be visiting, what activities you have planned, the length of your trip, medical and vaccine history, allergies, and any other concerns you might have. The physician will be able to answer questions and tailor recommendations for you based on the information provided.
It is also important to plan ahead in the event of unforeseen circumstances that can affect your healthcare coverage and ability to use your prescribed medications while traveling. Dr. Chitkara says, “Travelers should carry a sufficient supply of routine medication(s) in their carry-on bag ensuring access to these medications in the event their luggage is lost or misplaced.” Dr. Chitkara also recommends travelers check their medical insurance coverage to see what expenses may or may not be covered when traveling abroad and to consider purchasing travel insurance.
Depending on your travel plans, your physician may also discuss vaccinations. According to Dr. Raffalli, measuring the antibodies in your blood is sometimes necessary to determine what vaccines are needed. Likewise, “a physician might vaccinate a patient differently depending on the reason for travel. Two patients traveling to the same area might require different vaccines. A person visiting an orphanage might have different needs compared with someone doing some sightseeing,” states Dr. Raffalli. It is also important to discuss with your physician if you have altered immune system issues, such as those associated with diabetes or HIV. There are also considerations for pregnant or breastfeeding travelers, or for those traveling with infants and children. Some vaccinations are recommended to be administered 4-6 weeks before traveling as they take a few weeks to become effective, so plan ahead.
The CDC divides vaccinations into three categories: routine, recommended, and required.
Preparation for travel is key. So plan ahead and schedule an appointment at CareMount Medical today by calling (845) 231-5600 or visiting www.caremountmedical.com to make sure your vaccinations and immunizations are up to date.