Traveling to another country makes for incredible new experiences, but it also exposes you to different diseases, viruses, and bacteria. No matter where you travel this summer, you want to stay healthy and safe as you do so. By planning an appointment with a travel clinic and being aware of what to do and avoid during your trip, you can have a risk-free overseas adventure.
Staying Healthy Abroad
Before You Leave
Research your destination for health risks that travelers need to be aware of. Schedule an appointment with your travel clinic well ahead of time to get up to date on the vaccines you need for the area. For example, a hepatitis B vaccination requires three doses given over the course of six months. You should also check that you’re up to date on your routine vaccinations such as your annual flu shot, as well as immunizations for DTP, varicella, MMR, and polio. Ask your health insurance provider if they cover medical care abroad. If they don’t, ask about adding a temporary policy or find one with another insurance company.
During Your Trip
Be very careful about what you eat and drink while abroad. Avoid tap water and only order bottled water when you go out to eat. Avoid buying food on the street; instead, stick to restaurants that you know prepare their food in a sanitary and regulated environment. Wear an EPA-registered insect repellent with either DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus as its active ingredient. This will prevent insect bites that could spread Zika, yellow fever, malaria, and dengue. If you plan to wear sunscreen, apply it before you put on the repellent.
As you prepare to travel abroad, the right travel clinic will give you all the information and medications you need to stay protected abroad. HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA, specializes in vaccinations for travelers of all ages, and they’ll also provide you with the information you need to minimize your risks. Visit them online or call them at (703) 961-0733 to schedule an appointment.