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Stay healthy abroad: Why you should see a travel medicine specialist before your trip

Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

As you get ready to travel to another country, you probably have many details to coordinate and plan. One essential task, depending on where those travels take you, may be to make an appointment to see a travel medicine specialist.

A travel medicine specialist assesses travel-related risks and provides information to ensure your health and safety while minimizing the potential for health-related situations during your trip.

Adding a consultation to your travel to-do list

A consultation with a travel medicine specialist includes discussing travel-related illnesses, risk factors for infectious and noninfectious diseases, required immunizations, health regulations and drug-resistant organisms you may encounter.

It's crucial to schedule a pretravel consultation at least 2 weeks — and preferably 4 to 8 weeks — before your trip to ensure you get complete protection from any needed vaccinations. When requesting a travel medicine consultation, be prepared to provide information about your trip, including:

•All countries being visited

 

•Any transportation, accommodation or other circumstances that are out of the usual

•Dates and duration of travel

A travel medicine specialist will review your itinerary before your consultation to identify country-by-country health risks, such as exotic infectious agents, the potential for altitude sickness or heat exhaustion, as well as appropriate vaccinations and possible need for malaria-prevention medications.

Your opportunity to learn about staying healthy abroad

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