A travel clinic is a medical facility that offers counseling, recommendations, vaccinations, prescriptions and other preventative services to promote healthy travel for people visiting foreign countries. It’s a specialized form of medical care that’s not always available through your regular family doctor.
A clinic that specializes in travel medicine is called a “travel health practice” or a “travel health clinic.” This type of practice can be found in most major cities in the United States. The main goal is to reduce the risk of travelers contracting infectious diseases that are commonly found in other parts of the world.
This is accomplished by offering advice, vaccinations and medications based on a person’s specific destination and their personal health history. In addition, a travel clinic will inform travelers about other health risks at their destination, such as food and water safety, insect repellents and other precautionary measures.
The travel doctor will recommend vaccinations for the diseases that are most common in the destinations a person is traveling to. This may include a variety of vaccines, such as Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Rabies. They will also give advice on how to stay safe and healthy while abroad, such as avoiding uncooked or undercooked food and using mosquito nets to protect against insect bites in places that have malaria and Japanese Encephalitis.
Vaccination recommendations are often based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. But a travel specialist will also take into account the specifics of a person’s trip, such as their age and other pre-existing conditions, and any special entry requirements, like proof of vaccination for yellow fever, that may be required by a particular country.
When you make an appointment at a travel clinic, bring all of your previous immunization records and a detailed itinerary. This includes the dates and locations of all of your planned trips, as well as information about who you’ll be traveling with and why you’re going. The more detailed the information you can provide, the better the nurse or doctor will be able to advise you about vaccinations and other precautions.
Most insurances do not cover the cost of travel vaccines, but some comprehensive plans do include them. Check with your insurance provider to see if you’re eligible for coverage. Regardless of whether you’re covered, it’s important to get your vaccines at least 4 to 6 weeks before your departure date. This gives your body time to develop the antibodies you need to stay protected. It also gives you time to ask any additional questions you may have about your trip. Leaving vaccines too late could increase your chances of getting sick on your trip, which will spoil your vacation. You might even get a life-threatening disease. By taking the time to visit a travel clinic, you can avoid this. You’ll be glad you did!