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If you are considering a journey that will involve traveling in "developing countries", visit the CDC and WHO websites described in our article. 

For those of you who regard prevention as the best protection,  our recommendations may help you to travel with a greater peace of mind.

 

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Travel Advice - Health information for travel

An important part of vacation planning for international travel is to make sure that there are not any significant health issues waiting for you at your travel destinations. While disease outbreaks are of concern if you plan to visit areas that are undeveloped or lesser developed than where you live, it is always a good idea to check with the Center for Disease Control [CDC] or the World Health Organization [WHO] for information on diseases, disease outbreaks, vaccination recommendations, and medical information. The CDC and WHO provide health recommendations and disease related information on a country basis.



Before deciding on travel to exotic destinations, you should review information on local health conditions that includes:

1. Risks related to the area (e.g. specific local disease  outbreaks, altitude sickness, presence of swamps, etc.)
2. Availability of medical facilities
3. Vaccinations required or desirable
4. Food Hygiene

The CDC is the best source of health related travel information ( http://www.cdc.gov/travel). Of special interest is the CDC’s online version of its Yellow Book . The Yellow Book was originally designed as a printed reference for those who advise international travelers on health risks and was written primarily for health care providers: however, we have found it to be a very useful document that contains relatively current information on health issues at  numerous, potential travel destinations.

  • The online version of the Yellow Book  at the CDC site allows you to search for potential health hazards by travel destination [country level -selectable by menu] or by searching for information on a specific disease [selectable by menu].
  • In addition, you can search for vaccination information, recommendations for travelers with specific needs [e.g. Human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS), pregnancy, and disabilities].
  • Finally, you can also search for health hints and find great advice on issues such as motion sickness, protection against mosquitoes, travelers’ diarrhea, altitude illness, and other health information of  value.

 

The CDC provides another extremely valuable service called “Green Sheets”. The “Green Sheets” include the results of the government’s vessel sanitation program and provide the inspection scores of cruise ships that you might be traveling on during your vacation.

  • This information is a “must review” to make sure that your cruise line is emphasizing appropriate sanitation methods, or, if it has not in the past, what it has done to improve its rating.

The World Health Organization ( http://www.who.int/home-page/) is another site that is focused on health information of interest to travelers and includes a section on travelers health that is very current and useful (http://www.who.int/ith/).

The travel advice at the WHO Website can also be accessed through a handy map interface for those who know their geography.

  • In order to use the interface, you click on the target continent which is then replaced by a map including the names and boundaries of all of the countries on that continent.
  • Clicking on a country, takes you to a list that includes information on vaccination requirements, disease outbreaks in that county, as well as any specific health precautions that a travel to that country should observe.
  • In addition, there is an alternate access to all of this information for those who are confused by maps, through the use of a drop down list to select a country name and, then, by picking the name of a disease from a drop down list.

If you need to find information about Destinations or other Things Travelers Need To Know, try Googling ThereArePlaces.  

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