Traveler's Health - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/13/04

Traveler's Health

Plans have been made and your friends and family are wishing you, 'Bon Voyage.' By being informed, you may keep that trip from turning into a bad voyage.

20 to 50% of overseas travelers develop traveler's diarrhea (TD). The Center for Disease Control wants to help you avoid being a statistic. They have a new system for alerting travelers to the health risks in other parts of the world.

The four part system is simple and direct and should rule out confusion about their advice. The lowest risk is called "In the News." The next level is "Outbreak Notice." This tells travelers that there is an outbreak of a contagious disease in a specific area.

The third level is a "Travel Health Precaution." The outbreak of avian flu last year in Asia is an example of that type of warning. "Travel Health Warning" indicates that there is a spreading outbreak of disease that is out of control. This warning comes with a caution to postpone travel to that area if at all possible.

CDC is a wonderful resource for traveler's health. Aside from the new warning system, their website has a wealth of information on how to stay healthy while enjoying your trip of a lifetime.

CDC suggests that you check their website for health information about the region to which they are traveling and visit your doctor six weeks before your trip. This gives you time to get vaccinations, if necessary, to get prescriptions filled, and to talk to your doctor about any special precautions you should take while on thee road.

The general recommendations of the CDC are to be informed, to be ready, and to be smart. A trip to their website or a call to CDC will take care of the first precaution. The toll free number is easy to remember, 1-877-FYI-TRIP (877-394-8747).

If you have taken trips to the CDC website and to your doctor, you will be equipped for the tour. And being smart about what you eat, drink, and your behavior overseas will keep your journey from becoming a health disaster.

Finally, heed the CDC precautions about food and drink. In Western Europe, as at home, hand washing is a 'must.' And their four part caveat (boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget) is a pretty good idea as well.

You can find more information from CDC on the web by ( clicking here ).

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