Our immune systems are extremely delicate, and stressful situations like traveling can wreak havoc on them. Sleep deprivation, stress and many other issues on trips can only make you more susceptible to infections.
And your body isn’t the only change that could make you sick.
Traveling exposes you to more people than you would normally encounter. Spending time near dozens or hundreds of strangers only creates a better chance of catching something like a cold.
Studies have shown that those who get less than six hours of sleep per night were four times more likely to fall ill to a common virus. On average, 20 percent of flyers experience respiratory infections 5-7 days after a flight.
Even for a relaxing trip, your rest will also be hampered.
Traveling and adjusting to time zone differences can make sleeping difficult. This leads to stress and lack of energy. Besides making you a bit irritable, these effects can also create an opening for illnesses. Your body becomes even more vulnerable to those dangerous bacteria, especially if you’ve never been previously exposed to them.
Each region offers different environmental challenges that your body is not yet accustomed to. It may be easy to research a country before visiting, but an online search doesn’t equal the professional advice of a travel health nurse.
Most tourists who choose to see a travel health nurse for information on vaccines. They’ll look for answers about the required and recommended vaccines for their upcoming trip.
As we’ve covered, every country is different. A unique group of people, environment and climate create different health risks around the world.
But, you might be sure which vaccine needs apply to you.
If traveling to a country with low rabies risk, but you plan on hiking in the jungle, is a vaccine needed?
Polio is eradicated in many countries but still a problem in various others. Is a booster dose necessary?
A travel health nurse is ready to answer the questions for each unique regions and those vaccines.
The nurses can also tailor this information to any specific medical conditions. A traveler with an autoimmune deficiency may be susceptible to viruses they’ve never heard of.
What Else Does a Travel Health Nurse Do?
Travel health nurses can create personalized itineraries based on your travel plans, previous medical history, or any other needs.
Before a trip, you likely stay up-to-date on your destination. Maybe it’s the weather or any news updates for the region. A travel health nurse also does this, but is fully informed on the health alerts for the area. They can provide you with all nearby health alerts and reliable statistics for the region. A nurse will let you know if there’s an outbreak in the region or increased disease risk.
Not only will this make for an informed traveler, but help you make a decision on immunizations which may not be required, but are recommended. Any and all information that a travel nurse provides is personalized for you and your itinerary, including safety and security tips.
Not every health concern is about a specific illness.
Things such as dietary restrictions can be difficult to accommodate when abroad. which is why a travel nurse can help you understand the precautionary measures. This also goes for those who merely have sensitive bowels or other worries.
To keep you from traveling all over town, all these travel health services are provided on site. Rather than sending you to some other clinic at a different time for a specialty vaccine like anthrax, the immunizations are all at one location. The nurses can also provide medication for dangers without a vaccine.
When visiting new regions, travelers love to try out the new cuisine and eat like a local. Traveler’s diarrhea can quickly derail those plans, but nurses can provide medication to avert that problem.
Do you have any other questions about travel health nurses? Unsure if they can help with your upcoming trip? Call us at or book an appointment online now.
Written for Passport Health by Meagan Reynolds. Meagan is currently a freelance blogger, video producer, and social media assistant pursuing a degree in television-radio-film. She has a passion for writing and hopes to be a screenwriter and producer in the future.