Health & Safety Tips for Travelers

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February 16, 2017

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This post is available in: Spanish

While planning a trip may be very exciting, health and safety are more important than which sites to visit. By preparing for unforeseen illnesses or injuries, you can  prevent your long-awaited vacation, business meeting or family reunion from becoming an unpleasant experience.

More than 72.5 million U.S citizens traveled internationally, by air, from January through November of 2016, according to the latest data from the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO). The number increases if you add other transportation options. Moreover, South Florida is now at the height of its tourism season, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from Latin America, Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.

Along with a high number of travelers comes health problems that are traveled-related. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that in 2015 mild illnesses affected as many as 22 percent to 64 percent of people who traveled to developing countries  — and up to 8 percent of those people were ill enough to seek a healthcare provider.

A safe trip requires careful planning, says Gabriel Solti-Grasz, M.D., a primary care physician with Baptist Health Primary Care. (Watch the video below for vital travel tips from Dr. Solti-Grasz.)

Video by George Carvalho and Alcyene C. de Almeida Rodrigues

Here are some of the important steps to help you safely prepare for a healthy trip:

  • Learn about you destination and conditions that could affect your health.
  • Find out about the diseases that are common to the city or rural area you plan to visit and vaccinate accordingly.
  • Eat cooked food and wash your hands or sanitize frequently.
  • Be aware of traffic laws.
  • Bring all the medications you are going to need for the amount of days you will be traveling. If possible, get a letter from you doctor stating all the medication you are bringing with you.
  • Consider supplemental insurance to cover medical emergencies while abroad.

Many post-travel diseases and infections will only appear shortly after you return from your trip, so continue to monitor your health and stay alert for any symptoms.


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