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
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
2. Availability of medical facilities
3. Vaccinations required or desirable
4. Food Hygiene
The CDC is the best source of health related travel information (
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 (
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/).
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.