As the kids get out of school for the summer vacation, many families are planning travel, and some are looking at going abroad. When traveling internationally, certain health risks may be more prevalent than found here in the US.
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued or updated a whole host of travel notices linked to infectious diseases and outbreaks for in select travel destinations.
Measles is found in outbreak status is several countries to include Ethiopia (9,732 cases to date), Kyrgyzstan (18,000), Berlin, Germany (1,700), Vietnam (>300) and the Philippines (1,320).
CDC recommends that travelers to these countries protect themselves by making sure they are vaccinated against measles, particularly infants 6–11 months of age (1 dose of measles vaccine) and children 12 months of age or older (2 doses of measles vaccine). Clinicians should keep measles in mind when treating patients with fever and rash, especially if the patient has recently traveled internationally.
Planning travel to the Caribbean nations of Haiti, Cuba or the Dominican Republic? If so, federal health officials advise on measures to prevent contracting cholera, a gastrointestinal bacterial disease that has been a huge problem in this area of the world since 2010.
Cholera is a bacterial disease that can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Cholera is most often spread through contaminated food or water. Water may be contaminated by the feces of an infected person or by untreated sewage. Food may be contaminated by being handled by a person with cholera.
Most travelers are at very low risk of getting cholera. However, travelers to an area with a known outbreak should take the following steps to avoid getting sick: Drink and use safe water, Wash your hands often with soap and safe water, Cook food well (especially seafood), keep it covered, eat it hot, and peel fruits and vegetables and Avoid raw foods other than fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself.
The vaccine to prevent cholera is not available in the United States.
Dengue fever is a huge problem this year in several countries, particularly Malaysia and Brazil. While there is no vaccine or medicine can prevent dengue. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites, the CDC notes. Avoiding bug bites.