Staying Healthy While Enjoying Experiential Travel

Experiential Travel

 

Long gone are the days when people just wanted to sit in a chair and watch the world go by while on vacation. Today’s international travelers increasingly seek adventure and thrills that capture the essence of the place they are visiting. However, with the rise in experiential travel also comes an increase in the risk for injury, illness and infection. Learning how best to protect yourself can help ensure that your adventure will be fantastic from start through finish.

What Is Experiential Travel?

Experiential travel is a vacation taken up a few notches to include experiences that resonate at an emotional or even spiritual level. These sorts of trips are more personalized, more hands-on, more adventurous and more attuned to the local culture of each destination. Some people take part in experiential travel for the purposes of self-discovery while others want to immerse themselves in the unique aspects of what drew them to the destination in the first place.

Health Risks of Experiential Travel

There are several components to experiential travel that can put the health of travelers at risk. These risks include:

  • Far-off destinations. An adventure to a rainforest or exotic locale may be far from health care facilities should you develop a sudden illness or become injured during your trip.

  • Action. Experiential travelers are not content to sit in a chaise at the side of the hotel swimming pool for a week. Rather, they want to get out and do things. Many activities increase the risk of injuries, exposure to mosquitoes carrying parasites, and other infectious diseases spread by animals and insects.

  • Exposure to endemic diseases. In these out-of-the-way world destinations, the locals may not have been vaccinated against diseases that are rare in North America. As a result, you could become exposed to diseases such as polio, yellow fever and typhoid.

  • Poor sanitation. You will likely have a difficult time finding filtered or bottled water while skydiving off cliffs in Nepal or exploring the Amazon. There is a risk of food-borne and water-borne diseases.

How to Stay Healthy During Your Adventure

With some preparation and preventative action, you can head out on whatever type of experiential travel adventure you can imagine and still protect your health. About two months before your departure, schedule a pre-travel health exam with a travel health specialist. You will receive any necessary travel vaccinations to reduce your risk of picking up infectious diseases during your trip. Travel health specialists can prescribe preventive medications such as anti-malarial drugs to begin taking before you depart. You will also receive guidance on packing for a healthy trip, such as which sunscreen to take, the best type of mosquito repellant and how to select a water purification kit. You may also want to consider travel health insurance, trip cancellation insurance and medical evacuation insurance in case of an illness or injury during your adventures.

Sources:
Peak & Skift: The Rise in Experiential Travel
National Geographic: 7 Travel Trends You Need to Know Now
Centers for Disease Control: Adventure Travel

HPV Vaccine Protection Extends Well Into the Future

Healthy and Happy Young Adults

 

In an ongoing study of the efficacy of HPV vaccines at Stiftung Juliusspital in Weurzburg, Germany, researchers examined the antibody levels of girls who received the vaccine at ages 10 through 14, which is the recommended time period for vaccination. The Adjuvanted HPV vaccine is a three-dose series of shots that aims to prevent infection from HPV types 16 and 18, which are responsible for the majority of cases of cervical cancer. Scientists continue follow-up of the cohort to determine how long the vaccine can protect against HPV infections.

What Is the Adjuvanted HPV Vaccine?

The adjuvanted HPV vaccine is bivalent, which means it contains antigens against two types of HPV. To receive the full benefits of HPV vaccination, you need three shots. The second shot comes one month after the first shot, and the third shot comes six months after the first shot. In the U.S. and Canada, Gardasil, a name-brand HPV vaccine, is recommended for use in young men and women ages 13 to 26.

Why Is HPV Vaccination Important?

HPV is responsible for causing over 17,000 cancers annually in women and more than 9,000 cancers annually in men. In addition, it’s the cause of a common sexually transmitted infection, genital warts. HPV is passed from person to person through skin-to-skin contact during sexual activities. It can affect the throat, anus, penis, cervix and vagina. There are no screening tests for many of these cancers, some of which are not detected until the disease is severe and no treatments are available. Treatment for genital warts can be uncomfortable, and the condition may be embarrassing. Vaccination against HPV can minimize your risk of these painful, serious and sometimes deadly infections.

Who Is Eligible for HPV Vaccination?

Women aged 13 to 26 and men aged 13 to 21 are eligible for HPV vaccination. It’s important for both young men and young women to be vaccinated because men can spread HPV to women through sexual contact. The vaccine can help lower the risk of cancers in all young adults. The researchers at Stiftung Juliusspital in Germany estimate that HPV vaccination provides detectable protection for at least two decades, which covers the time when young people are becoming sexually active and planning families of their own.

Benefits of HPV Vaccination

The repercussions of cancers caused by HPV in women can lead to the need for radical treatment such as hysterectomy. This surgical procedure renders women infertile. HPV vaccination also prevents cancers in men. Early vaccination against HPV before the onset of sexual activity minimizes the risk of such drastic complications to reproductive and overall health.

How to Get Vaccinated Against HPV

If you’re in the eligible age range for vaccination, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. You can also complete the HPV vaccination series if you’ve only had one or two of the shots. Parents should schedule this vaccine for their sons and daughters to help protect their future health. To schedule your vaccination against HPV, you can contact your physician, pediatrician or a travel health specialist at Passport Health. Travel health specialists can also provide you with other vaccines to help guard against infections during domestic and international trips. You’ll receive guidance for packing, such as what benefits you can get from sunscreen, mosquito repellant, water purification tablets and sunscreen.

Sources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: HPV and Cancer
Infectious Disease News: Adjuvanted HPV Promoted Long-term Antibody Persistence in Preteen, Adolescent Girls
CNN: HPV Vaccine Effective in Men

What Does the “Pure, Safe, and Effective” Flu Vaccine Mean for You and Your Family?

Healthy People

 

Passport Health is proud to partner with Protein Sciences to make the company’s Flublok influenza vaccine available to a greater range of clients, and Protein Sciences formally announced this partnership yesterday. Flublok is an influenza vaccine that allows almost anyone to be inoculated against the flu.

What makes Flublok so special is that it contains no egg protein, gelatin, latex, antibiotics, formaldehyde, or live influenza virus. Flublok essentially cuts out everything that might keep someone from being vaccinated. Pregnant? Not a problem. Allergic to eggs? Not a problem. Worried about a live or dead virus? There isn’t one.

Flublok uses modern DNA and cell cultures to produce just the protective ingredients needed to be vaccinated against the flu without having to worry about being exposed to the virus. And, with minimal side effects and triple the strength of traditional flu vaccines Flublok could be the solution to the flu problem.

Just like other immunizations, it is advisable to talk to a medical professional before receiving Flublok or any flu immunization, but doing so will put you one step ahead in the fight against the most prevalent of bugs.

Every year in the United States, influenza and its related complications result in more than 200,000 hospitalizations and as many as 49,000 deaths. If you’re interested in getting a flu shot and would like to know more about flu immunizations or Flublok, contact a Passport Health professional at 1-888-499-PASS (7277)

Links:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/flublok-influenza-vaccine-will-be-available-at-over-230-passport-health-locations-nationwide-2014-08-19
http://www.passporthealthusa.com/vaccinations/flublok-egg-free-cell-based-influenza-vaccine/
http://www.flublok.com/faq.html

Why Do I Need an On-Site Flu Vaccination Program at My Work?

Onsite Flu Vaccination Clinic in the workplace

 

If you think that you don’t need an on-site flu vaccination program at work, think again! A dedicated immunization effort will have several positive effects on your business. Many people do not end up getting a flu vaccine on their own time since they are unaware of the need to do so, and in turn, they may end up spreading the disease throughout the workplace. This is your chance to engage in public health education with the people who matter the most to your business — your employees. Here are some ways that an on-site flu vaccination program can have a positive effect on your business operations.

Reducing Absenteeism

When workers contract the flu, they tend to lose an average of five working days annually as they try to recover from the illness. However, some people take longer to recover than others, and they may begin to get better as others get sick. Your workplace could be suffering from absenteeism and staffing shortages for a couple of weeks if the flu hits your employees hard. After a while, this could lead to contracts not being upheld and profits being lost. Up to 20 percent of American workers will fall ill with the flu each year, so it makes sense to vaccinate your employees and ensure that they will be present at work during the flu season.

Boosting Employee Morale

When a large portion of a community is ill, productivity tends to suffer. People might stay at home due to their concerns about getting the flu and passing it on to their family members. Your bottom line will begin to suffer as projects fall behind and people avoid the workplace out of a fear of illness. By encouraging employees to get vaccinated at work, you can help them feel safe about coming in to perform their essential tasks. The protection granted by the flu vaccine extends far beyond the workplace, which can calm their fears of spreading the flu to other people. Your company will continue to thrive during the flu season if you set up an on-site vaccination program.

Reducing Travel-Related Illness

Perhaps your employees travel frequently in order to serve the needs of the company. During the height of flu season, they might be traveling through airports or public transit hubs. This could put them at risk of contracting the virus and spreading it back through the workplace, which in turn causes productivity to suffer. By starting an on-site flu vaccination program, you can make sure that anyone who travels for work stays safe and healthy.

On-Site Flu Vaccination Programs: A Key Part of Public Health

If you are interested in starting an influenza vaccination program at your workplace, you should strongly consider using Passport Health’s corporate services. We will assign travel health specialists who can visit your office and administer flu vaccines to employees who need them.

Vaccination is the smart choice for a business that doesn’t want to slow down because of an outbreak of illness. By maintaining a positive public health environment in your office, you can boost productivity and play an active role in the health of your employees. Contact Passport Health today for more information about setting up an account.

Sources
CDC Key Facts Page on Flu Vaccines
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Guide to Establishing a Work-Site Influenza Program
Passport Health Article on Establishing On-Site Vaccination Programs

Be Flu Free! Don’t Let These Myths InFLUence You!

The flu is serious business, but this common ailment is commonly misunderstood. Watch this video to dispel 8 of the most prevalent flu myths.

Myth: The flu isn’t that bad.
FACT: Being sick with the flu is terrible!

Myth: I’m healthy, so I don’t need the flu vaccine.
FACT: Even healthy, active people need the flu shot.

Myth: I can protect myself from the flu by washing my hands and bundling up in the cold.
FACT: Influenza is spread through the air, so hand washing cannot fully protect you.

Myth: I got the flu shot last year, so I don’t need to get it again.
FACT: The strains of flu virus that circulate change every year, so last year’s shot may not protect you this year.

Myth: I already got sick this year; I can’t catch the flu again.
FACT: Even if you were already sick with the flu, your body may not be immune to all circulating flu virus strains.

Myth: Antibiotics can fight the flu; I’ll just take some pills if I get sick.
FACT: Antibiotics cannot treat or prevent the flu.

Myth: The flu shot can give you the flu.
FACT: The flu shot cannot give you the flu.

Myth: You need a doctor’s appointment for a flu shot.
FACT: You can get the flu vaccine at Passport Health locations nationwide or at an onsite flu clinic at your office.

What are you waiting for? Get the flu vaccine and be Flu Free this year!

Finding Healing in Solo Travel

Written by: Kristin Meekhof

Kristin Meekhof

When Passport Health asked me to write about my travel journeys, I immediately said, “Yes”. I didn’t have to think twice. I loved the idea of talking about why I started to do more solo traveling after my life changing event. While this next paragraph may seem a little dark, I encourage you to read on. I share my tips for taking solo adventure.

I was 33 in 2007 when my husband of four years was diagnosed with adrenal cancer. About eight weeks after his first doctor’s appointment he died. We didn’t have any children together, so I was truly alone. He died in November a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and his birthday was in early December. I was anticipating a tsunami of loss with these two dates followed by the December holidays. I shared this with a dear friend. My friend sustained a personal loss as well, and I felt she understood my situation. She suggested that I “do something different” this December. She shared how following their family’s own devastating loss, she and her husband took their children on a holiday.

I lived in Michigan, and the thought of being in a warmer climate for an extended weekend seemed very attractive. I booked a trip to Florida and made certain that my trip had all of the necessary creature comforts. I didn’t want to rent a car, so I took a shuttle from the airport straight to the hotel.

Kristin Meekhof, Northern Michigan

 

Prior to being married I had traveled alone, but this trip was different. It was less than four weeks after the funeral, and I was feeling raw and vulnerable. I booked the trip online and when asked who my emergency contact was it gave me pause. I tried to skip that part; however, the website wouldn’t allow me to continue. I quickly entered my uncle’s contact information. I packed the essentials in my carry- on, tucked a snapshot of my husband in between the pages of a book, printed my boarding pass, and headed to the airport.

The first solo restaurant meal was difficult. Looking at the menu, I immediately thought of my husband. I noticed that they offered a dish of mussels prepared exactly how my husband loved. I started to question myself if this was a smart decision because now I was looking at the lobster, and remembering the time we were together in Maine eating lobster. However, these intense moments passed. The second and third meals were easier.
Since that first Florida trip, I’ve traveled solo on several occasions. I’ve literally taken planes, trains and an automobile to reach my destination. On multiple occasions, I’ve traveled by myself to northern Michigan, New York City, Boston, and Chicago.

While you may not have experienced a death of a loved one, you may have experienced a different type of loss: a job, a friendship, a relationship, or a divorce. These types of losses are often unexpected, unwanted, and unplanned, which makes it even more painful. Personally, my journey of healing began with that extended weekend to Florida. However, you don’t have to travel a great distance to move closer to your own transformation. If you are planning solo travel for the first time, and you find the task daunting, here are some suggestions:

Kristin Meekhof

1. If you’ve never traveled alone, you may want to plan a day trip before scheduling a week long solo vacation. This will get your feet wet so to speak. For example, you will experience dining for one. Getting to know a place through your own lens is a different experience than sharing it with others, but don’t be intimidated.

2. When you are setting your itinerary, be sure to have a back-up plan. Earlier this year I was in Boston when an extreme blizzard hit. The airport, museums, major highways, and some restaurants were closed. This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself snowbound to my hotel, but I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to meet my family. I ordered a few movies, instead of having a pity party. Also, plans can quickly change even on a sunny day, and if you have a few alternatives in mind, it is easier to adapt to a sudden schedule shift.

3. Don’t expect a major transforming moment to occur because you may be setting yourself up for a large disappointment. While you may be saying “goodbye” to something or someone, don’t set your expectations too high. It is often in the smaller, unplanned moments that give birth to something new. On the Florida trip I began meditation, and it is something that I still practice.

I am grateful for this opportunity to share with you a part of my journey post loss. I will be traveling this fall to Kenya. A part of the trip will be to visit organizations that service widows. The second part of the trip, I will be on a safari. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you when I return.

You can visit me at my website where I talk about my upcoming book Just Widowed and some of the other travel adventures I’ve taken.


Kristin Meekhof is a graduate from Kalamazoo College, and completed the Master in Social Work program at the University of Michigan. She is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and The Shriver Report, where she writes about healthy living. She recently ran a half-marathon in California to benefit The Weightless Project, a program supported by Dr. Deepak Chopra.

Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KristinMeekhof

Featured Traveler: Tempe Sister Cities Chapter

Established Relationships Nurtured During Trip Abroad

Passport Health Featured Traveler: Sister Cities

 

Name: Marcus Newton
Lives in: Chandler, AZ, USA
Destination: Balkans
Trip Date: May 28 – June 15, 2014

Founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the 1956 White House conference on citizen diplomacy, Sister Cities International is a non-profit, non-partisan organization serving as the national membership organization for individual sister cities, counties, and states across the United States. President Eisenhower envisioned an organization that could be a champion for peace and prosperity by fostering bonds between people from different communities around the world. By forming these relationships, President Eisenhower reasoned that people of different cultures could celebrate and appreciate their differences and build partnerships that would lessen the chance of new conflicts. Sister Cities International advances peace and prosperity through cultural, educational, humanitarian, and economic development exchanges. It serves as a hub for institutional knowledge and best practices in the field of citizen diplomacy.

Marcus Newton, owner of Printing Specialists (an Arizona business for over 33 years), has been volunteering for the organization since 1986 and is currently the Vice President for the Sister Cities chapter in Tempe, AZ. He, his wife, and 16 other members of his local chapter recently traveled abroad to attend the Balkan Sister City Conference in Skopje, Macedonia. They also met with many mayors as they toured other Balkan countries in search of additional future Sister City relationships.

Did you visit any other countries in the area? If yes, which countries?
Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Turkey, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina

How did the daily life of the locals differ from the life you live back home?
There was not a noticeable difference among the daily life of the locals from ours. We met many locals and the only difference was language, but we are all faced with similar problems; the only slight difference may be intensity.

Passport Health Featured Traveler: Sister Cities

Did you eat any local delicacies or interesting foods during your trip?
We had many opportunities to eat the local delicacies and partake in cultural experiences. We were guests at many banquets hosted by various Eastern Europe cities that were often 4-6 course meals that lasted from anywhere of 3-4 hours in length. These lunches/dinners gave us an opportunity to not only converse with the locals, but also taste many of their beloved cuisine, listen and dance to their local music. Almost every day, we ate the local vegetables, meats and drank local beer/wine. In Skopje, we were guests at a local restaurant, in which the owner and chef personalized our menu after the local favorites. He cooked all of our food in a specialized wood oven. This specialized oven was the only equipment in his kitchen. The dishes he created were amazing! While we were in Albania, we did have a fish that only can be found in the great depths of Lake Ohrid of the Balkans. The locals informed us that the Queen of England is known to favor this fish and it is imported from the lake to her table.

How was the weather different than in Arizona? Was it challenging to acclimate?
The weather was absolutely wonderful. The only difference was the high humidity that we are not used to in Arizona. The sun shined every day and the waterway breezes cooled us off. When it was hot, many of our new local friends would help us find an area of “shadow” (that is what they referred to as shade) and joined us for a drink at many of the beautiful cafés.

Passport Health Featured Traveler: Sister Cities

What was the most memorable experience during your trip?
The beautiful scenery, but most of all the opportunity to meet many new friends.

Did you find any cultural similarities between your destination and home?
Throughout our travels, we have learned that people are very similar no matter where they live. We all have the same problems (family, work, government and etc…). We have all loved, felt pain and laughed.

What was the most surprising thing about your trip?
The most surprising thing about our trip was the beauty of Serbia. Serbia was so clean, green, and blooming with flowers. It was amazing to see how the wine industry has flourished in the Balkan countries. We saw so many miles of vineyards along the Balkan coastline and countryside. We tasted many of the local wines and they were incredible. It was evident that the Balkans are serious about their wine.

Passport Health Featured Traveler: Sister Cities

What places of interest or activities do you recommend?
Everyone must visit Istanbul, Turkey. It is an intensely beautiful country that is so rich with history. The restaurant, hotel and tourism service is outstanding.

How did your trip impact the way you view life abroad??
That communism was a huge failure and still presents many obstacles for many countries to overcome.

Will you be traveling abroad soon? Be sure you are healthy and fully prepared for your trip by scheduling a visit with a travel health specialist before you go.

Sister Cities International
Tempe Sister Cities Chapter
Passport Health blog- Doing Good Globally: Sister Cities International

Meningitis: Is the Silent Killer Your New Roommate?

Make sure meningitis is not your new roommate

 

When preparing for college, you have a lot of choices to make. You get to pick your classes, your major, your dorm, and even the brand new, extra-long, turquoise geometric print sheets that will adorn your twin bed for an entire year! Also, finding a compatible roommate to live with in notoriously tight quarters may be one of the most important factors in a healthy college experience. When it comes to picking your roommate, and when you may think you have (finally!) found the perfect match, pause for a moment. Have you considered whether “the silent killer” is your new roommate?

It may seem like every possible preparation has been taken for your big move into the dorms, but have you prepared your health? There could be a silent killer lurking, and the name of this silent killer is meningococcal disease, also known as meningitis. This potentially fatal disease thrives in college dormitories as it’s most commonly found in teens. Meningitis is a dangerous inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord and may be caused by a variety of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, environmental toxins, and reactions to medications. The disease can be difficult to recognize, especially in its early stages, since the symptoms are similar to those of more common viral illnesses. But, unlike more common illnesses, when meningitis strikes, it can cause death or disability within just one day. The disease is contagious and can be spread through the transmission of air droplets, kissing, sharing of items, living in close quarters, or eating from utensils that may have been infected. Luckily, most forms of the disease can be prevented with a vaccination. Given all the reports of meningitis outbreaks on college campuses, many state schools are now requiring students to receive this vaccination before attending the university.

Proper preparations will help smooth the transition from home and help ensure a successful start to your freshman year. Preparing your health is the most important preparation you can make. Getting the meningitis vaccination is vital in order to protect your health and that of others around you. Don’t forget to receive your meningitis vaccination before heading back to school!

Ebola Outbreak: The Deadliest in History

Ebola Virus

 

Currently, we are experiencing the world’s deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. This rare and often deadly disease has now made its way to four West African countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria.

The outbreak has been primarily in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, but as of July 27, a case of infection was recorded in Nigeria. A Liberian man, who had already been infected with Ebola, flew to Nigeria where he collapsed at the Lagos airport. The patient died after a week in quarantine, Reuters reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded a total of 1,323 cases of infection-729 which have resulted in death.

Ebola is the virus that causes Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever. There are five species of the virus, four of which have caused disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The current virus responsible for the EVD outbreak is of the Zaire strain; the deadliest of the five.

Ebola is not spread through the air, but through direct contact with body fluids of infected people such as blood, saliva, and sweat. This means that health workers and family members need to be especially careful when caring for those who are infected.

Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, one of the top doctors battling against the outbreak, died after he caught the virus himself, reported NPR last week. Dr. Khan had treated over 100 hundred patients throughout Sierra Leone.

Two American missionary workers, Dr. Kent Brantly, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Nancy Writebol, of Charlotte, North Carolina, have also been infected while treating the disease at a Liberian clinic, NPR reported. Kent and Brantly were working with the Samaritan’s Purse, an aid organization, at a Liberian hospital where it is allegedly believed they contracted Ebola from another health care worker. While they were both being treated in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, a representative from the National Institutes of Health contacted the aid organization and offered an experimental drug, known as ZMapp, for the two patients.

Three vials containing the experimental drug were shipped to Liberia, reported CNN Monday. The drug was sent over in subzero temperatures and required thawing before it could be administered. As the first vial was thawing, Brantly suggested that Writebol be given the first dose; since she was older and Brantly’s own body might have a better chance of fighting off the disease. However, after Brantly’s condition worsened, it was decided he would receive the first dose.

After just one hour of being given the drug, Brantly’s condition had improved immediately. Writebol received the second vial of the drug, but her condition didn’t improve as quickly as Brantly’s had. On Sunday, Writebol was given a second dose of the ZMapp. Luckily, this time it resulted in a significant improvement.

Both Brantly and Writebol have now returned back to the United States; however, not all have welcomed back the survivors with open arms. Donald Trump, television personality and American business magnate, has voiced his disapproval of allowing the patients to return in a series of updates through his Twitter account.

On August 1st at 5:22 AM, he wrote “Stop the EBOLA patients from entering the U.S. Treat them, at the highest level, over there. THE UNITED STATES HAS ENOUGH PROBLEMS!”

Then, again an hour later: “The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go too far away places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences!”

However, in an online infographic, the CDC has already stated in bold writing: Ebola poses no significant risk in the United States.

ZMapp has not undergone clinical trials, so it is far from being approved for humans. Prior to being administered to the two patients, the experimental drug had been tested on monkeys. It was tested on four monkeys within 24 hours of infection, all of which survived. Four other monkeys had been given the drug within 48 hours of infection and two of them survived. Another monkey who received no treatment died five days after exposure.

There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola. If this “miracle” drug really does work, it is still not made readily available to be given to patients. The process in which Brantly and Writebol were given the medicine is very uncommon. Gregory Hartl, the spokesman for the World Health Organization, has noted that health officials “cannot start using tested drugs in the middle of an outbreak, for various reasons.”

The CDC has three levels of notices used to inform travelers about ongoing health related issues abroad. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have all been classified as Warning Level 3, the highest of the three levels, which urges travelers to avoid unnecessary travel to the three countries.

If it is necessary for you to travel at this time, you can schedule a health consultation to meet with a travel health specialist. The travel health specialist will go over all the latest health risks of traveling to your destination, as well as any possible precautions you can take before you depart.

Sources
CDC Facts about Ebola
CDC: Outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone
CDC: Travel Health Notices
Experimental drug likely saved Ebola patients
WHO: Ebola virus disease
Nigeria government confirms Ebola case in megacity of Lagos
Sierra Leone Doctor Who Led the Fight Against Ebola Dies

Top 4 Reasons To Get the Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine

Flu Season Ahead - Get Vaccinated

 

1. Offers 33% more protection than the trivalent vaccine.

The trivalent vaccine was designed to protect against three different flu viruses: two A viruses and one B virus. Experts found that the vaccine did not help protect against the second group of B viruses. Therefore, this additional strain was added to the quadrivalent vaccine which gives broader protection.

2. Broad protection against both B strains is critical.

On average, influenza associated-associated hospitalization and mortality rates are higher with type B than with type A influenza. In addition, B strains cause epidemics every 2 to 4 years, and the impact of B strains is much greater in children and young adults.

3. Four is better than three.

It’s difficult to predict which flu virus strains will predominate during a season, so it’s critical to make sure you are protected from all four strains. You never want to take chances on your health! The quadrivalent vaccine eliminated the need to guess which B strain will be more likely to circulate.

4. Quadrivalent flu vaccinations can reduce the risk of more serious outcomes.

Getting the quadrivalent flu vaccine is important for protecting yourself and other people around you. In fact, studies show that had the vaccine been available in past years, the quadrivalent vaccine could have potentially prevented 21,000 hospitalizations and nearly 1,400 influenza-related deaths between 1999 and 2009.