Travel Medicine Essentials

As the cruise capital of the world, the port of Miami sends four million passengers each year to the seven continents.   By comparison, Miami Airport (MIA) greeted 19 million passengers from international destinations in 2012.   Know which travel vaccines are needed in advance.

Before You Go – What you need to know

  • It’s a good idea to schedule your doctor visit early since many vaccines need 4-6 weeks to become fully protective.
  • Different vaccines are recommended depending upon your destination, what you will be doing there, and your underlying health.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is a good source if you want to know which ones.
  • Your physician is best able to answer which vaccines are suitable for you based on your itinerary and health.

Before You Go – Vaccines at the same time

Most vaccines may be given at the same time, says Hossein Joukar, MD. You may experience temporary discomfort, but your body’s immune system is capable of handling the antigens.   There are many government websites which will guide your travel planning before you see your doctor.

Before You Go – Medical Travel Kit

For most international travelers, your destination will be important in gathering the right contents for your medical kit.   For general symptoms, Dr. Joukar recommends:

  • For pain or fever (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin)
  • Stomach upset and diarrhea (Imodium, antibiotics, mild laxative, antacid)
  • Throat and respiratory discomfort (decongestant, cough suppressant, antihistamine)
  • Motion sickness remedies (may be treated by a variety of methods)
  • Severe allergic reaction (Epipen)

Please consider planning well in advance and visit your physician early, at least two months prior to traveling for proper preparation.