Got travel plans for summer? Dr. Katherine Helgen offers tips on preparing before you go, to stay healthy while you travel:
- Visit with a doctor who specializes in travel medicine about three to four months before your trip. That gives us time to plan for necessary vaccinations. If you put it off until the last minute, please still come in.
- Tell your provider exactly where you’re going. Medical recommendations can vary within countries. If you’ll only be in cities, you don’t need to take the same precautions as you might in rural areas.
- Be especially aware of mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria, yellow fever, and zika. Your provider may recommend taking anti-malarial medication; for other diseases, preventing bites and infection is the key. Wherever you’re headed, take the same precautions you would for mosquitoes or ticks at a Minnesota cabin: Lots of bug spray with DEET, frequently applied.
- Get the recommended vaccinations for the area in which you’ll be traveling. If you’re headed to Europe, there’s nothing special, but if you’re off to the Amazon rain forest, we need to talk.
- Whatever your destination, remember that some of the greatest risks are from ordinary things. Be careful in traffic, drink bottled water, and pay attention to food preparation.
- Carry a simple first aid kit with Pepto-Bismol, Imodium, acetaminophen, and burn ointment. Being able to treat minor discomforts helps get you back on your feet faster.
Dr. Helgen sees patients in the Northfield Clinic. To make an appointment, call 507-646-1494. Learn more at https://www.northfieldhospital.org/helgen-katherine-md-facp