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Traveling Out Of The Country This Summer?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Robert Parnes, M.D., MPH, Parnes Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, HealthWise Medical Associates, LLP

As the summer months approach, many people and their families look forward to travelling--often aboard.  This summer the Olympics will be held in the United Kingdom and many Americans will be traveling to the UK for the games.

One thing that some forget is that there are infectious diseases that can be contracted in foreign countries.  Visitors to certain countries could encounter life- threatening illnesses that are preventable by either vaccines or medication.

Many people are susceptible.  Those who have never been immunized are at risk.  Travelers who visit the country of their birth or those who visit friends or relatives are often the most vulnerable because they may falsely assume that they are immune to the diseases of their native country when in fact they are not.  Those going to tropical nations may encounter diseases that most doctors in the US have only read about but never seen—such as Malaria, Yellow Fever and Typhoid Fever.


People may be surprised to find that illness that are rare in the US—like Measles—may be more common in nations that we think of as highly developed.  For example, there have been large outbreaks of Measles in Europe most notably in France, with tens of thousands of cases including deaths and permanent disabilities.  This is because certain nations have become more lax on vaccinating their children against Measles than the US has.

It is the recommendation by the US Centers for Disease Control for all travelers leaving the US to review with a physician who is versed in travel medicine the risks of travel.  Talk to your doctor before you leave the US.  HealthWise Medical Associates has three offices that provide pre-travel consultation services;  David Edelheit, M.D., Coventry Family Practice, Angelee Carta, M.D., Carta Internal Medicine in Manchester and Parnes Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in Vernon.   Please visit our website - healthwisefamilycare.com to make a travel appointment with one of these offices.  The HealthWise Family Care Network has eight (8) offices to serve your entire families primary health care needs.   

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