General Health Advice for International Travel

General Health Advice for International Travel

We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

General Health Advice for International Travel

According to World Tourism Organization the number of international tourist arrivals is approximately one billion every year at present and the number is increasing steadily every year. Not only are more people traveling; these days travelers are seeking more exotic and remote destinations and studies show that 50% to 75% of short-term travelers to the tropics or subtropics report some health problem during or immediately after the travel. Most of these health problems are minor and only about 5% of them require some medical attention and less than 1% require hospitalization. Among these travelers infection is a major contributor of illness but only approximately 1% of the deaths among travelers is due to infection.

The most frequent causes of death among travelers from the United States and other western countries are cardiovascular disease (49% deaths among travelers) and injuries (22% deaths) due to accidents. The age specific death rates due to cardiovascular disease are similar among travelers and non travelers but for injuries (motor vehicle, drowning, aircraft accidents etc.) it is much higher among travelers.

The health advice and recommendations for international travel are based on traveler’s destination, health status of the traveler (pregnancy, old age, any specific diseases like cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disease etc.), specific itinerary, and lifestyle during travel. Most commercial aircrafts are pressurized to 2500 m (8000 ft) above sea level (corresponding to a PaO2 of ~55 mmHg), travelers with serious cardiopulmonary problems, severe anemia should be evaluated before travel. those who have recently had surgery, a myocardial infarction, a cerebrovascular accident, or a deep-vein thrombosis are at high risk during flight.

Fitness of traveler is an important issue and a growing concern due to increased numbers of elderly and chronically ill individuals journeying to exotic destinations. A pre-travel health assessment is highly recommended for travelers particularly for those who are considering adventurous recreational activities, such as mountain climbing and scuba diving.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publication Health Information for International Travel you can get detailed information regarding country-specific risks and recommendations for international travel.

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