How to have a healthy and productive overseas trip? Follow these top 5 travel health tips September 19, 2013 By Caitlin Bradford Leave a Comment 5 Tips for Healthy and Productive International Travel: Visit a Travel Health Specialist. Get proper travel vaccines. Prevent against malaria. Practice precaution against other insect borne diseases. Avoid illness with eating and drinking strategies. An international business trip requires a lot of forethought, and travel health planning is a crucial component of the pre-travel process. Diseases that have been eradicated in the U.S. or are largely unknown at home are often present abroad. Indeed, Hepatitis A, Typhoid Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, and malaria are very common in less developed parts of the world, and these diseases can have serious health consequences. The last thing you, or your company, want to deal with during a business trip is to have your productivity derailed by illness. Fortunately, by following these tips and making an appointment with a travel health specialist at Passport Health, you can be prepared for a productive and healthy business trip. 1. Visit with a Travel Health Specialist The most essential part in preparing for an international business trip is scheduling an appointment with a Passport Health travel health specialist. Passport Health staff will perform a pre-travel health consultation to ensure that you are in optimal health when you depart for your trip. They will check to ensure that your body is ready for the rigors of a business trip and that any health conditions you have are being properly managed. A pre-travel health exam is recommended at least four to six weeks in advance of your trip. However, if you do not have that much notice, an appointment with a Passport Health travel health specialist even just a day or two before you depart will help to ensure your good health. 2. Proper Travel Vaccines Many diseases that are commonplace overseas can be prevented with a series of vaccinations performed by the travel health specialists at Passport Health. Passport Health staff will assess your need for immunizations based upon your business trip destination and medical history. Some of the travel vaccinations that all Passport Health clinics offer include: Hepatitis A and B Yellow Fever Japanese Encephalitis Typhoid Fever 3. Malaria Medications In many parts of the world, including South Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Latin America, there is a high risk of malaria. While some cases of malaria may be mild, many infections result in serious illness, complications and even death. Malaria is spread by Anopheles mosquitoes, which are prevalent in areas that are consistently warm and humid. However, Passport Health travel health specialists will provide you with anti-malaria medications or a prescription for pills to prevent against this disease. Taking these medications as prescribed can significantly reduce your risk of becoming infected with malaria. 4. Insect Borne Disease Precautions In addition to taking medications that reduce your risk of malaria infection, there are additional precautions you can take to prevent malaria and other insect-borne disease. These include: Using a mosquito repellant that contains DEET Keeping mosquito netting around your sleeping quarters Keeping the windows of your hotel room closed 5. Eating and Drinking Strategies As much as possible, avoid alcohol and caffeine during your business trip. While it might be tempting to go out for drinks with your international colleagues or clients, the combination of jet lag, dehydration, and alcohol may have unpleasant effects on your health and behavior. If you do go out for a dinner meeting, stay well hydrated with non-alcoholic versions of what everyone else is having. In countries with questionable water supplies, stick with bottled water that you open yourself. Do not take ice cubes if you do not know the source of the water. Stick with thoroughly cooked foods. Avoid produce unless you have peeled and washed the item yourself. Bring water purification tablets in your health kit as an extra preventative measure.