Health risks of international travel


In 2005, 808 million people traveled abroad. In 2004, the Americans made almost 62 million trips abroad, which means about 1 in every 5 American residents.

With the increasing number of travelers traveling abroad, the risk of cross-border diseases increases. Global society also brings global health risks. Among the travel-related diseases most commonly mentioned in press stories are malaria, diarrhea of ​​passengers, hepatitis A, HIV, various sexually transmitted diseases, typhoid fever and meningitis.

This issue was addressed in a new White Paper published by the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF), written by Nancy Rudner Lugo, DrPH, NP. NPHF warned that most passengers were unaware of such risks, and when they realized the dangers, it usually turned out that it was too late.

Only a handful of travelers made sure to get any footage before they went abroad: 11% for tetanus, 14% for hepatitis A, 13% for hepatitis B and 5% for yellow fever. 58.4% and 68.7% of passengers reported that they had not received protection against hepatitis A, resp. Hepatitis B.

This is where the NPFH says that nurses have an important role to play both in informing the American public about the various health risks that lie there and in providing practical and effective means of protection against them.

In line with this approach, the Atlanta Disease Control Center also recommends that 'international travelers contact health care providers for travel advice at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to travel for up-to-date health information, vaccination and prophylactic medications (eg, for malaria, travel diarrhea). "

Here are NPFH recommendations to all nurses and health professionals:

“To raise awareness of the need for health care (passengers) before, during and after traveling. Launch a comprehensive, multi-level approach to health education (passengers) with a focus on consumers, health professionals, health information systems and policy formulation.

Incorporate … health education and assessment into mainstream primary care. Encourage patients to identify their own travel needs. Create an environment that resembles the health of travel.

Increase the knowledge of primary health and safety (passenger) providers. Include the content of travel immunization, the use of over-the-counter products, and the resources for travel health and safety in the core curriculum for primary care professionals.

Improve access to health services in tourism. Encourage primary care practices to offer travel health services.

Get involved in road health research. "