Global Travel…Global DiseaseFull globalization has occurred. The internet and increasingly faster air travel means few places on earth arenot now accessible to just about everybody. Private jet travel makes a celebrity party in Paris tonight andVegas tomorrow night a bit of a mundane. A morning meeting in Paris, followed by dinner and a show in New York…. ho hum. Life in the fast lane has its benefits. It also has its own set of issues. After all, inspite of what American history books might have you believe, it wasn’t really Quimo Sabe that killed off Tonto, it was the dastardly diseases that Quimo Sabe brought across the waters from his homeland. Didn’tthe H1N1 swine flu go from being a Mexican problem to being a world concern quickly?Before we jump in and join the jet set, we must take precautions to protect ourselves, as well as the worldaround us from things to which we or they may not have previously been exposed. Travel preparationsshould start more than a few days before your trip. Such preparations will depend upon the area in whichyou will be traveling and the amount of time you will spend in any given location. A trip to Southeast Asiafor only a week does not require cholera shots, but relocating to Southeast Asia for more than a month,requires a series of immunizations, including Cholera. Malaria prophylaxis is not necessary in Sweden, butis a must for Africa. Water in the Azores is quite safe, but drinking water or eating uncooked fresh fruitsand vegetables washed in the water in Mexico may get you an attack of Montezuma’s revenge, a.k.a. bacterial dysentery or infectious diarrhea. Research the requirements for your travel months beforehand.Some of the immunization series start months in advance. This also prevents the discomfort of having totake too many immunizations all at one time. Contact your primary care doctor, a travel clinic, or theinternet at sites like the one set up by the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) athttp://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx.Measles, tetanus, etc. are still prevalent in many underdevelopedcountries, not to mention that they are seeing a resurgence here...globalization. Make sure all routineimmunizations are up-to-date. Get checked every 1-2 years for tuberculosis (TB), a lung infection. It isstill endemic in many world populations.People with health issues must be even more prepared. The
CDC recommends that you bring with you allthe drugs that you think you will need during your trip, rather than buying them while you are traveling
. Insome places the medication that you are taking for any given condition may just not be available or may beof poor quality or even dangerous, i.e. counterfeit drugs. Many times they are dramatically cheaper for areason. In this post-911 environment, remember that any medications that you carry must be in an originalcontainer with a prescription label with YOUR name on it. Have your pharmacist put it in two bottles: oneto carry on you and a second to put in your luggage. If your purse or briefcase gets stolen or your luggagegets lost, you will not be left without your medication.Attempt to locate a reputable pharmacy and a doctor that speaks your language of choice in your destination country prior to starting your travels.Remember to take sunscreen and DEET-containing mosquito repellent into areas where needed. Wear shoes! Worms and other parasites are still a big problem in many countries A sports bottle with a water filter is a good thing to take if you will be in an area where water is not potable. One can be purchased atwww.thegoodhealthcompany.com. Dressing in loose layers works well in countries with temperatureextremes on either end. Whether diving or high altitude climbing, ascend slowly (you know who you are)!As precautionary measures, if you have no contraindications, take an aspirin a day for a few days prior toyour trip and stretch often in flight to prevent blood clots in your legs. This is not an all inclusive list, butmy final word of caution is to always drink plenty of water when traveling and use common sense!
Do you have any travel suggestions to add to this list? Do you have any questions about how to be prepared? Do you have any great travel related stories?Tell me about them!
Disclaimer: Dr. Cheryl BryantBruce, M.D. is the national spokesperson for the Good Health Company. Although her likeness is featured on the infomercial on the front page of the company website and she does officially endorse the company, she has no financial interest in the company at the present time.