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Mater Sociomed. 2012;24(2):131-4. doi: 10.5455/msm.2012.24.131-134.

Common Health Risks, Required Precautions of Travelers and their Customs Towards the Use of Travel Medicine Services.

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1
Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology, Faculty of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

There is an increasing number of people who travel around the world. Every traveler is exposed to nearly all infectious risks which may occur during his travel time. Some of the main risk factors can be water quality, temperature and high humidity and the exposure to multi-resistant microorganisms. To tackle the upcoming problem there is an imperative need to develop a new branch of medicine with the name of travel medicine.

REVIEW RESULTS:

A consultation prior to departure for an upcoming trip is required, focusing to a personalized healthcare plan, based on international scientific protocols and epidemiological studies.Travelers must acquire essential information about the prevailing hygiene conditions and climatic differentiations that occur in the region. Additionally there are several health risks upon the arrival at destination. A scheduled visit to a health professional is necessary, especially in the case of travelers suffering from chronic diseases or those taking medication, while vaccination is considered essential for specific destination countries. Healthcare professionals should be able to inform travelers and evaluate their needs. According to research studies on notion and attitudes travelers' specific risks, only few of them are well-informed during a trip. While most studies indicate that travelers have some kind of pre travel medical consultation, not all of them proceed to the required vaccinations and medications.

CONCLUSION:

Travelling for business or leisure around the world may be unhealthy. The importance of proper preparation prior to the travel requires to be adequately informed by specialized healthcare professionals, and to receive appropriate vaccinations and medications, when required. The results of the review of notions and attitudes of travelers during the trip indicate not only the need for further development of the branch of travel medicine but especially the need for the expansion and the availability of health services.

KEYWORDS:

attitudes; health risks.; knowledge; precaution; travel medicine

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