International travelers can get required immunizations locally From Spotlight on Health - Winter 2013
Although most people don’t like to get shots, when they are required for traveling, more people accept them as a necessity.
Central Minnesotans who are planning international travel now can get required immunizations, pre-travel counseling, water/food safety education and other health-related traveling tips locally.
The Family Medicine Clinic at CentraCare Health Plaza, 1900 CentraCare Circle in St. Cloud, has been certified as an International Travel Medicine Clinic by the Minnesota Department of Health.
“As the only certified provider of the Yellow Fever immunization in the area, we can provide this required immunization for people traveling to areas such as Africa and Central America,” said Daniel Smith, MD, a CentraCare Clinic family medicine physician who has special interest and experience in international medicine.
Daniel Smith, MD, is a family medicine physician
who has special interest and experience in
international medicine. He provides pre-travel
counseling and education to international travelers.
Although studies have shown that most people visiting other countries do not seek pre-travel health advice, people need to understand the health risks that traveling internationally may pose and be actively involved in preparing for a safe trip.
Gathering destination information
Travelers should learn as many details as possible about their travel destinations, modes of travel, lodging, food and activities during their trip. These details help the travel health provider tailor his or her advice in regard to immunizations, disease prevention, and other health advice.
Travelers can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travelers’ Health Web site www.cdc.gov/travel for the latest health information for international destinations, which includes disease outbreaks, natural disasters and other events with health-related concerns.
Traveling with medications
The patient’s name and dose regimen should be clearly labeled on the original prescription container. Ports of entry officials may require proper identification of medications. Travelers should carry copies of all prescriptions, including their generic names. For controlled substances and injectable medications, travelers should carry a note from the prescribing physician on letterhead stationery. Certain medications are not permitted in certain countries. If there is a question about these restrictions, particularly with controlled substances, travelers should contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country.
Travel eating tips:
• Avoid eating “street” fruit and vegetables
• Drink bottled water only
• Eat thoroughly cooked foods
• Replace lost fluids with electrolyte drinks
Important contact information
Travelers should carry a contact card with the addresses and phone numbers of the following:
• Family member or close contact remaining in the United States
• Lodging at destination
• Health care provider(s) at home
• Medical insurance information
• Travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance information
• Area hospitals or clinics, including emergency services
• U.S. embassy or consulate in the destination country or countries
Travelers also should leave a copy of this contact card with a family member or close contact who will remain in the United States in case of an emergency.
Anyone requiring pre-travel immunizations should call CentraCare Clinic at (320) 229-4917 to schedule an appointment. Many travel-related immunizations are needed at least 30 days before traveling.