Stay Healthy while you Explore the World
by Dr. Hojat Askari, Founder and Medical Director, Thumb Butte Medical Center
Travel of all kinds has been curtailed over the past two years. We’ve all developed a case of cabin fever, with the remedy being more travel. Lots of us are spreading our wings and getting ready to trot the globe with a new appreciation of having the freedom to do so.
Yet at all times, and particularly now, we need to remember the health risks that can accompany international travel and fortify ourselves against communicable diseases.
BEFORE YOU GO
Embrace a healthy lifestyle — Everything we’re told to do as far as eating healthy, exercising often and sleeping well is as essential for your immune system as for every other part of your body.
Know the COVID transmission level — Visit www.cdc.gov/ coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices. html.
See your doctor at least four to six weeks before you leave — Tell your health care provider about your upcoming trip and ask for recommendations about vaccines and other preventive measures you can take given your personal risk factors. Pack a medical kit following their advice.
If you don’t have a primary care physician or yours can’t provide all of the required immunizations, specialized Yavapai County Community Health Services RNs can consult with you and provide them if available, for a fee. See www.yavapaiaz.gov/chs/travel-immunizations for more information.
WHILE YOU’RE THERE
Be cautious around tap water — Find out whatever you can about the water quality you can expect from public systems where you are going. If you are at all concerned, drink out of sealed water bottles or bring a bottle with you that includes a filter. Avoid having ice in your drinks as well.
Choose restaurants wisely — Eateries may not be held to the same standards you’re accustomed to in the U.S., so try to stay with those that have a good reputation, especially among locals.
Wash your hands — Do this regularly, including before and after you eat, and carry hand sanitizer with you for when you can’t get to a sink with soap.