Getting ready to travel internationally? Eugene and Springfield-area patients can take advantage of the specialized knowledge of an Oregon Medical Group Travel Medicine physician and medical team by setting an appointment to ensure they’re current on relevant immunizations and prescriptions and are in the best possible medical condition to combat diseases that may be prevalent abroad.
In certain parts of the world, particular viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites that are rare or unknown in this country are common. Your risk is increased if you are visiting a destination where you will come into contact with pathogens your body has not encountered. This makes it important to consult with a physician prior to departure to ensure that safety precautions are explained, and necessary prescriptions are obtained.
Because some immunizations take a certain length of time to become effective, it is preferable to have a medical consultation at least one month in advance, although immediate travel consults can generally be accommodated if necessary. Bring your itinerary – it is essential that the doctor know which parts of the world will be explored in order to prepare the patient properly. In some cases, the CDC will recommend against any nonessential travel to areas where there are active outbreaks of severe disease.
Our Travel Medicine team will ask you a series of questions, including if you:
- have chronic medical conditions.
- have compromised immune systems.
- are pregnant.
- are planning to travel on a cruise ship.
- are traveling with children.
- will be administering health care at your destination.
- will be providing disaster relief at your destination.
Because diarrhea is by far the most common ailment suffered by travelers, physicians will usually prescribe medications in advance to treat gastrointestinal symptoms, including anti-diarrheal medications and/or antibiotics. Patients who become ill after returning home should be medically evaluated by a doctor familiar with their recent excursion in case their disease condition was contracted abroad.
Most often, the diseases patients become infected with during travel are spread by bacteria or insect bites. Viruses may also be the cause of a traveler’s illness. In many cases, precautions other than medication, such as using mosquito netting, wearing masks or insect repellents, or purifying water at the destination, are also advised by the CDC. OMG’s Travel Medicine team can discuss all of these items with you.