Traveling the world safely

Newsletter - May 14 - Travel ClinicI feel lucky because I have traveled a lot since my childhood. At that time I traveled to many European countries with my family without much bother. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I was finally able to realize one of my long-time dreams when I had the opportunity to travel to Southeast Asia.

When traveling inside of Europe, or to the western world, usually it does not require any immunizations or any special attention on health issues other than maybe refraining from drinking tap water. Unfortunately in many areas of Asia, Africa, and South America there are greater risks to your health, due to the climate, changes in hygienic conditions, and infectious pests to name a few, which makes it necessary to pay detailed attention when preparing for your trip abroad. The last thing I wanted to do on my two-week holiday adventure was to be stuck on the toilet, or worse pick up an infection which could last years.

Planning to travel

When planning for my trip to Southeast Asia, I was acutely aware that I was going to need a set of vaccinations and that they needed to be given enough time ahead so that there was time to reach full immunity before stepping into those environments. The greatest obstacle I had was that I had no idea which exact vaccines did I need to get. Fortunately, as many of our patients travel frequently, for work or pleasure, I was aware that our clinic also operates as an international vaccination center which provides travel clinic services.

The Travel Clinic

I booked an appointment for a travel consultation with Dr. Éva Dános, our travel doctor, who provided recommendations and a plan for the immunizations dependent on destination, current circumstances, length of our stay and how much time there was before departure. Dr. Dános also provided information about illnesses that could not be prevented through immunizations so I needed tips to minimize their risks.

The first steps

Prior to your consultation it is very important to make sure you are up-to-date with routine immunizations, such as tetanus, polio, ‘childhood’ illnesses: measles, mumps and rubella to name a few; then you can start considering the different vaccinations you may need on your trip. The FirstMed travel doctor will draw your attention to the diseases you may be at risk of acquiring and can give you the necessary information on prevention. Don’t forget: all it takes is one dirty coke can to ruin your dream adventure.

Turned away at the border?

If I had not consulted our travel doctor, I would not have been aware that many countries require a certificate showing vaccination against yellow fever before allowing entry into the country. I absolutely would have been crushed getting turned away at the airport just because I didn’t know I needed to bring one piece of paper. This is another reason why I consider a travel consultation with a travel doctor a necessity. Not only does it keep me healthy on my travels but also it allows me to know possible roadblocks beforehand.

Adrienn Koppányi – FirstMed Front Office Manager

If you are planning your summer holiday or a business trip please come and see our doctors. Click here to learn more about FirstMed’s Travel Clinic and to sign up for a consultation.

This article appeared in our May, 2014 Newsletter. For further information about the online publication and to sign up, please click here.