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Travel Medicine

Ensure a healthy bon voyage

Dr. AlamTo ensure the safest possible trip outside the U.S., your first stop should be to see your doctor. Your physician can help to determine which vaccinations and medicines you may need to prevent serious illness. Family Practice physician and Travel Medicine specialist, Ghazala E. Alam, MD, offers insights and tips into the best way to keep healthy during international travel.

Q: What vaccinations do international travelers need?

It depends on your destination, medical history and travel style – backpackers face different risks than sightseeing tourists. It is best to have immunization tailored to your individual itinerary, including both required vaccinations as well as optional ones.

Q: Are vaccinations really necessary?

Yes! Medical experts throughout the world agree that vaccinations prevent serious disease. Plus, medical care abroad may not measure up to American standards, which also makes it crucial to get the appropriate vaccinations before traveling internationally.

Q: When should immunizations start?

It’s best to see your primary care physician or travel medicine specialist at least two months before you depart to give your body adequate time to develop immunity (and some shots require multiple injections over time). But even if you’re leaving in a week or two, some vaccinations can still offer protection.

Q: What about other medications, like antibiotics or anti-malarial drugs?

Again, depending on your destination, your physician can provide prescriptions for medications to protect against malaria, traveler’s diarrhea and other illnesses.

Q: If I have a chronic illness, can I still travel abroad?

Yes, but it’s important to address your unique health issues before your trip begins. In addition to getting the appropriate immunizations, we can advise you about medications and medical care in the region you plan to visit.

Q: What other services do you offer international travelers?

We can provide customized pre-travel counseling that includes health alerts or travel advisories specific to your destination, valuable information about how to avoid illnesses, and advice about what to do if you do become ill.

Visit Travel Clinics of America for more important health and safety information to protect you on your trip.

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