Friday, December 3, 2010

Travel Medicine


I know some of you love travelling. But do you know that even travelling can give you bad impact besides lost a lot of money?

Travel medicine is a branch of science that focus on the disease that a traveler can get besides high risk of opportunity disease when you travel to other country. Travellers are thus exposed to a variety of health risks in unfamiliar environments. Most such risks, however, can be minimized by suitable precautions taken before, during and after travel.

The traveller in high risk of travel-related disease, depends on:

1. Mode of transport -
there is difference risk when you travel with airplanes and cruise, and any otherr transportation like train and cars (risk like accident, longer time of journey related with deep vain thrombosis and so on)

2. Destination(s)
where accommodation, hygiene and sanitation, medical care and water quality are of a high standard pose relatively few serious risks to the health of travellers, unless there is pre-existing illness. Besides, they should be aware of the endemic of the disease, occurrence of any disease outbreaks in their destination countries, unforeseen natural or manmade disasters.

3. Duration and season of travel
duration of visit may determine whether the traveller is subjected to marked changes in temperature and humidity or to prolonged exposure to atmospheric pollution. season of the certain country also play important role because some season like winter have low opportunity of communicable disease, but high in systemic disease like frost bite or hypothermia.

4. Purpose of travel -
the purpose of travel like conference and business trip is usually held in the city, with good accommodation, clean water supply and well- organized food have lower risks than do hiking, camping and do researches in the rural area.

5. Standards of accommodation and food hygiene -
the clean, well-managed accommodation with good services hotel and resort have lower risk of transmittion of disease than poor dirty motel with no cleaner services provided. Food also important aspect of travel disease since poor food hygiene contains a lot of bacteria and virus  related to typhoid, hepatitis A and diarrhea.

6. Behaviour of the traveller -
behavior like keep good hygiene and sanitation, used proper attire for certain activity like shoes, long pants and long sleeves shirt to avoid from be bitten with mosquito, used repellent, always wash your hand before and after eat and also eat the clean and cooked food to avoid food related disease.

7. Underlying health of the traveller -
previous history of disease and current diseases like heart related disease like congestive heart failure and heart attack, and respiration relate disease like asthma.

Travellers also can prepared some first aid kits before travelling that consist of:
antiseptic wound cleanser, bandages, emollient eye drop, insect repellent, insect bite treatment, antihistamine cream or tablets, nasal decongestant, oral rehydration salts, scissors and safety pins, simple analgesic (e.g. paracetamol), sterile dressing, clinical thermometer, sunscreens and earplugs

Besides, depends on the individual needs and destination:
antidiarrhoeal medication (to include an antibiotic, an antimotility drug and oral dehydration sachets with appropriate written instructions regarding their use), broad spectrum antibiotics (e.g. flucloxacillin, amoxicillin), antifungal powder, antimalarial medication, bednet and adequate supplies of condoms and the oral contraceptive.


Vaccination - Contact the nearest travel medicine centre or a physician as early as possible, preferably 4–8 weeks before departure. For certain country, you can get free of charges for typhoid and hepatitis A vaccination. For typhoid vaccination, the duration and last for 3 years and for hepatitis A vaccination, first injection can last for 12 months. So you need second injection after 6-12 months from first injection, that can last for 20 years.

2. Malaria - Request information on malaria risk, prevention of mosquito bites, possible need for appropriate preventive medication and emergency reserves, and plan for bednet and insect repellent. There are also prophylaxis injection for malaria to reduce the risk, not to eliminate it because some countries have different resistant of malaria medication.

3. Food hygiene - Eat only thoroughly cooked food and drink only well-sealed bottled or packaged cold drinks. Boil drinking-water if safety is doubtful. If boiling is not possible, a certified well-maintained filter and/or disinfectant agent can be used.

4. Specific local diseases - Consult the appropriate sections of this volume as well as and national travel health web sites.

For further information and guides, feel free to visit WHO website and International Travel and Health manual book.

No comments:

Post a Comment