OSDH Encourages Planning Ahead to Stay Healthy During International Travel
For Release: May 26, 2017– Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
As Oklahomans prepare for international travel for business, leisure, or volunteer activities, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is encouraging international travelers to do their research to make their trip a healthy one.
“It’s important to be proactive by learning about travel advisories for your destination, planning ahead to obtain any recommended vaccines or preventive medications, or deciding if travel should be rescheduled for those at high-risk of illness,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley.
Examples of current travel advisories are related to the ongoing outbreaks of Zika virus in numerous Latin American countries and the Caribbean, an outbreak of yellow fever in Brazil which has resulted in an expansion of areas where yellow fever vaccination is recommended for travelers, and an outbreak of dengue fever in Fiji.
Mosquito-borne illnesses are a common threat while traveling internationally. During 2016, 29 cases of Zika virus infection, including one pregnant woman, occurred among Oklahoma residents who were bitten by infected mosquitoes in countries where Zika virus is prevalent. Seven other Oklahomans contracted malaria during their travels overseas to countries with a risk of malaria transmission.
The OSDH recommends the following tips for staying healthy during international travel:
Preparation Tips Before You Leave
- Enough prescription medications and any other medications your physician may recommend to last through the duration of the trip.
- Insect repellent, ideally containing DEET or picaridin.
- Hand gels containing 60 - 95 percent alcohol.
General Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling