This is the time of year when families go on vacation. For some, the journey is an annual, somewhat local migration; for others, somewhere new and far away. In many cases, travelers do not realize that they need to prepare for international trips several weeks to a few months in advance to ensure time to complete vaccinations. The same is true of students traveling abroad; so as you see students over the summer, you might want to check if they are going to be traveling with school programs in the fall or spring.
For help counseling travelers about staying safe and healthy, the following resources and information may be useful.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a great tool on its travel-related web page. With sections for travelers or clinicians, the landing page allows users to choose the vacation destination as well as specific travel needs, such as:
- Traveling with children
- Chronic diseases
- Cruise ship
- Extended stay or study abroad
- Mission or disaster relief
- Visiting friends or family
Once criteria are chosen, users are taken to a page with information related to vaccines and medicine, staying healthy and safe, healthy travel packing list, travel health notices and things to know after the trip.
The VEC offers a printable Q&A [PDF, 674KB] related to travel with general information.
Travel to another country
If you or your patients are traveling internationally, two key resources include:
- Yellow Book — This book is a useful resource for clinicians who need to counsel about international travel. Freely available online, but also available for purchase in a few formats, this resource compiles important information for counseling travelers. See “On the Bookshelf” for more information.
- Travel notices — The CDC regularly updates travel information for specific countries or regions. These notices can be delivered to you for free via email or text, or you can check the page of notices as needed.
Specific diseases or concerns
You may want to know more about specific conditions based on where patients are going or on questions they are asking you. Here is a short list of additional information about some of the more likely concerns:
If you don’t carry all of the travel vaccines in your office or you prefer to have your patients receive a comprehensive travel health consultation, consider sending them to a travel health expert in your area. These resources may also be useful for patients traveling to areas that require yellow fever vaccination as only certified yellow fever clinics can offer the documentation that a traveler must show to enter certain countries.
You, or your patients, can locate travel health experts via these online directories: