Travel Health Specialist

ALON Family Health

Family Medicine located in San Antonio, TX

Although traveling is fun and enriching, it poses health risks. Depending on where you go, you could come in contact with diseases that are rare in the United States, as such, your body won’t have the antibodies to fight them. Therefore, it’s important that you take preventive measures to keep you healthy and prepared. The team at ALON Family Health in San Antonio, Texas, can give you the necessary vaccinations to keep you healthy as you travel. If you are planning a trip, call or schedule an appointment today.

Travel Health Q & A

Are preventive medications and vaccinations necessary before I travel?

Yes, especially if you are going to developing countries, remote areas, tropical climates, and countries that require it. Preventive medications and vaccinations keep you from getting sick or having a medical emergency while you’re away. They also make sure that you don’t bring any illness home to your family and friends.

What illness should I prevent to maintain my travel health?

That depends on your body and where you’re going. When traveling, you need to have a strong immune system, especially if you already have an ongoing illness or are pregnant. Also, some countries require an international health certificate or other proof of vaccination for certain diseases, such as yellow fever.

After an initial consultation where you discuss your health, medical history, and destination with a practitioner at ALON Family Health, they may suggest vaccinations or medications against:

Malaria

Every year, about 1,700 American travelers are hospitalized for malaria when they return home. Unfortunately, many more don't get treated for malaria when they fall sick because it’s not rampant here, which makes it even worse.

It is therefore important that you get prevention against malaria before you leave and medications to take during your time out of the country as well. In addition to medications, ALON Family Health suggests other preventive measures after assessing your risk.

Traveler’s diarrhea

When you eat food or drink water at a place where the climate or sanitary conditions are different from what you have at home, you might get traveler’s diarrhea. Signs that you have it include:

  • Passing loose stool frequently
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting (during your trip or shortly after you return)

While it’s rarely fatal, it can stop you from taking part in activities.

Typhoid fever

Most of the 300 people that get typhoid fever in the United States each year are travelers. Even though you take care, you might not be in total control of everything you eat or drink while you’re away. ALON Family Health recommends that you get a vaccine to prevent typhoid.

ALON Family Health also provides vaccinations against yellow fever and hepatitis.

When should I get travel vaccinations and medication?

A good rule of thumb is 4-6 weeks before you travel. That’s because you need to get vaccinated a certain number of days before departure because of the time it takes for it to protect you. For example, some malaria prevention medications take 1-2 weeks ongoing, and the yellow fever vaccine takes at least 10 days to work and get a valid proof of vaccination.

If you are planning a trip overseas, call or book an appointment at ALON Family Health to get the vaccines or medications you need to maintain your health.