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February 2007 Newsletter

Iternational Travel Considerations

Dear Fellow Business Traveler,

A friend of ours was traveling abroad last week and didn't realize until five days before departure that his passport had expired.  In this ever shrinking world of tecnology and instant communication we can sometimes take for granted that going to Osaka isn't as easy as going to Omaha.  In this month's Newsletter we talk about some things to consider for international travel.  It's always best to plan ahead and make sure you have all of your ducks in a row.

Be sure to check out the newest additions to our Travel Fitness Blog.

To Your Health, 
Healthy Travel Network

squareHealthy Travel Overseas

Abbr. int. or intl.
1. Of, relating to, or involving two or more nations: an international commission; international affairs.
2. Extending across or transcending national boundaries: international fame.
n. International
Any of several socialist organizations of international scope formed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

International travel can be quite a burden even before you board the plane.  Planning ahead by dealing with passports, ground transportation at your destination, making sure your luggage is not lost or stolen, transferring of currency and even preparation of foreign language all are dealt with (hopefully) before you leave to reduce the amount of stress or things to consider before heading to the airport. 


One thing that many people don't think about at times, especially if they are not used to dealing with work visa issues, are vaccinations or immunizations.  Now this can bring a whole new era of concern to the mix.  Many countries deal with diseases that most of us don't think about.  We’re very fortunate to live in a modernized country. Many of diseases we don't have to fear here in the United States are big concerns overseas.  On top of viral issues there are even bacterial infections that can lead to major sickness or even death to some of us. 

Issues to consider when traveling overseas:

  • Plan ahead don't procrastinate because it may take several weeks for immunity to develop, and you may need more than one dose of the vaccine for full protection

  •  Be sure and check all guidelines. Some vaccines and anti-malarials aren't appropriate for infants and children, pregnant women or people with chronic medical conditions.

  • Remember that vaccines are not fool proof and not 100% effective so you still must take common-sense precautions to avoid getting sick.

  • If you receive any vaccines, ask your doctor, travel medicine clinic or health department for a record of these vaccines.  Have all of your vaccines verified.

  • Keep a summary of your medical history on you at all times in an easy to read format in case you are in a country of another language.

  • Take extra special precautions if you are traveling to a country that is known to have malaria outbreaks.  Many people who stay for long periods in these countries stop taking their medication to prevent the illness or acquire medication in these countries, where many times the medications sold to foreigners for malaria is counterfeit.

  • Be careful with open markets and ingesting such things as water, raw or undercooked meat, fruits and vegetables (especially without cleaning them in something other than tap water) and dairy products.

  • Be sure to let your physician know before you leave and when you get back so that if you get sickafter your return there is prior knowledge to the possible problems.

squareMore Helpful Information

There are many great sites available for information on this topic, but the most inportant resources are:

:: Centers for Disease Control - Provides country by country health information for international travel, including vaccine recommendations, updates on disease outbreaks and recommended treatments.

:: World Health Organization - Provides information on vaccination requirements, accidents and ifectious diseases.  They also offer a nice traveler checklist and health and disease alerts.

::  State Department Travel Advisories - Provides warnings issued by the State Department as related to particular countries.  They also cover such topics as entry and exit requirements, medical concerns, crime, aviation safety and embassy and consulate locations.  Plus, they have public announcements about terrorist threats and other short term and/or transnational conditions posing risks to American travelers.

Those are an excellent place to start for all of your international travel information.  Another useful site is The Mayo Clinic's Staying Healthy Away Far From Home.

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