Many people leave the country for a variety of reasons including vacation, humanitarian efforts, business ventures, and employment. However, what many people do not know is that it is very important to undergo a travel medicine consultation before leaving. Certain areas of the world are less developed or have different health concerns and ensuring that a person is prepared for those instances is the goal of the travel medicine physician. In the past, travel medicine focused on assisting those traveling to developing areas however today travel medicine encompasses tropical medicine, public health, appropriate immunization, and wilderness medicine.
During the consultation, the doctor will advise patients about the potential concerns associated with their travel plans. Before the patient departs, the doctor will also help them to obtain the required immunizations and vaccinations, an understanding of the medical resources of the area, information about any potential health risks, and will also suggest that they carry their medical information and a travel kit with them. Travel medical kits are especially important for those traveling to a developing area. The exact vaccinations and immunizations needed will be determined by the patient’s travel destination, age, overall health, planned activities, the season, and the urban or rural environment of the location.
Most travel kits should include first aid items, medications for common and expected ailments, any prescription medication required with a physician’s note, and toiletry items especially sanitary napkins or tampons for women which can be hard to procure in developing areas. First aid items to consider include:
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