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Travel tips from Travel Clinic NY

Be "food wise and water smart"

Several infections can be acquired by ingesting contaminated food and water, including infectious diarrhea (travelers' diarrhea, hepatitis A, and less commonly, trichinellosis.). In areas where sanitation and personal hygiene are poor, food and water precautions are necessary for minimizing the risk of these infections. These precautions will be most effective when they are used on a daily basis.

Tap water that looks safe to drink can be infected, but boiling the water for three minutes, followed by cooling can kill these organisms. Alternately, two drops of 5 percent bleach or five drops of tincture of iodine in two quarts of water kills most organisms within 30 minutes.

Travelers can reduce the risk of infection by using the following precautions:

  • Do not drink or brush the teeth with unboiled tap water.
  • Do not drink beverages that contain ice made from unboiled tap water.
  • Drink only boiled tap water, drinks made from boiled tap water, carbonated beverages, beer, and wine.
  • While bottled water is safer than unboiled tap water, the source of the water and bottling conditions are not standardized; thus, other drinks are probably safer than locally bottled water.

Food can also harbor infection-causing organisms. Reduce the risk of infection by following several food precautions:

  • Do not eat unpeeled fruit. Peel any fruit yourself before eating it.
  • Do not eat raw vegetables
  • Do not eat or drink unpasteurized ("raw") dairy products
  • Do not eat raw or rare meat, fish, or shellfish

Insect and arthropod bites

In certain areas of the world, insects (mosquitoes, flies, fleas, bugs, and lice) and arthropods (ticks and mites) can transmit a number of potentially serious infections, including malaria. The risk of infection can be reduced by following several precautions on a daily basis:

  • Whenever possible, avoid insect-infested and arthropod-infested areas
  • Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants; treating clothing with permethrin can improve effectiveness
  • Follow good personal hygiene
  • Use insect and arthropod repellents that contain DEET or picaridin
  • Use mosquito netting over the bed; treating the netting with permethrin can improve effectiveness
  • Check skin regularly and remove any insects or arthropods
  • Whenever possible, minimize time spent outdoors after dark

DEET, permethrin, and picardin are insect repellants that are widely available at sporting goods stores in the United States

Sun protection

Tropical sunshine can be very harmful. Be careful about exposing your skin to direct sun. Painful sunburn can be avoided by:

  • SUNSCREEN! A sunscreen with SPF15 will block about 93% of damaging sun light
  • Wear clothing that covers arms and legs

Personal medications

Medications available in the United States may not be available in other countries. Therefore, travelers who must take medication regularly should bring enough medication with them for the duration of their trip. Medications should be taken on the plane in a purse or other carry-on bag, rather than packed in luggage, to avoid loss or theft. Travelers who require syringes to administer medication should carry those syringes along with a letter from a healthcare provider documenting a medical need for the syringes.

Avoiding accidents

Traumatic Injuries account for more deaths in travelers than do infectious diseases. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of the injuries. It is critical for the travelers to be aware of the rules on the roads in other countries.

  • Avoid driving at night, which can minimize exposure to other alcohol-impaired drivers
  • Familiarize yourself with the local driving conditions
  • Wear a seat belt at all times
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and driving
  • If using motorized cycles, wear helmets and be especially cautious

Blood clots

Sitting for prolonged periods during air travel causes blood to pool in the legs, which can increase the risk of forming blood clots in the legs, especially in individuals who have clotting or vein disorders. People with these conditions may be advised to take certain medications, to stretch frequently, and/or to wear compression stockings during long flights to reduce the risk of blood clots.). All travelers should consider the following recommendations for flights longer than six to eight hours:

  • Stand up and walk around every hour or two
  • Avoid smoking
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing
  • Flex and extend the ankles and knees periodically; avoid crossing the legs, and change positions frequently while seated
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration; non-alcoholic beverages are preferred
  • Consider wearing knee-high compression stockings

Motion sickness

Motion sickness is not a disease but rather it is an exaggerated response of the body to an unfamiliar motion. Individuals who suffer with motion sickness can take a medication before a flight (or before sailing if on a cruise ship) to prevent this condition. Over-the-counter drugs work for most individuals; prescription-strength medication can be given if needed.

Jet lag

Travelers who cross several time zones may experience jet lag. The effects of the jet lag are due in part to body's biological clock being out of sync with your activities. In general, it takes longer to recover from jet lag after flying west to east than east to west. Adult travelers crossing five or more time zones are likely to benefit from melatonin, especially if they have experienced jet lag on previous journeys. It is also reasonable for people making such a journey for the first time to take melatonin, if jet lag might seriously interfere with work or leisure activities at their destination. Travelers crossing two to four time zones may also try melatonin.

Sexually transmitted diseases

The risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis B, exist everywhere in the world. The same way you protect yourself at home will provide protection when you travel. Use condoms PURCHASED IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY

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  • Yellow fever
  • Typhoid (shot)
  • Typhoid (oral)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hep A/B (combo)
  • Tetanus(TDAP)
  • Polio
  • Meningitis
  • Rabies
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • $260
  • $88
  • $110
  • $88
  • $80
  • $120
  • $78
  • $68
  • $138
  • $330
  • $330
Pay cash and save 8%
  • Yellow fever
  • Typhoid (shot)
  • Typhoid (oral)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hep A/B (combo)
  • Tetanus(TDAP)
  • Polio
  • Meningitis
  • Rabies
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • $220
  • $80
  • $100
  • $80
  • $74
  • $110
  • $70
  • $60
  • $127
  • $303
  • $303

One-time office-visit fee of $65*

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