Maria Mileno, MD, director of the Travel Medicine Service at The Miriam Hospital advises travelers how to have a safe and healthy vacation.
Every year millions of Americans embark on vacations to exotic destinations unaware of infectious bacteria that may be lurking in everything from swimming holes to food and drinking water.
Although malaria and meningitis have typically been the major players in serious international health concerns, avian flu and even a resurgence of the mumps in the United States have caused health officials new anxieties.
Despite heightened concerns from health care professionals worldwide, only a fraction of travelers will seek travel health advice prior to their departure. Most tend to rely on alternate sources of information that can be misguided and inaccurate, such as friends and neighbors.
Medical information provided by travel agents, non-specialists and word-of-mouth is often outdated and unreliable, says Maria Mileno, MD, director of the Travel Medicine Service at The Miriam Hospital, the largest travel medicine clinic in the state. Consulting with a travel medicine physician prior to a trip can provide travelers with the most up-to-date information on particular destinations to ensure a healthy trip.
Tips to Take With You
Travel medicine physicians have access to specialized computer programs with detailed information on overseas locations including specific outbreaks, illnesses, and dangers often before it becomes public knowledge. Mileno and her staff are trained in tropical medicine and international health and tailor recommendations for travelers by considering their health status, vaccination records and specific destination.
Mileno recommends that travelers review their itinerary with a specialist, and provides the following general tips for healthy travel.
Additional helpful hints