Take a trip to the doctor before a trip out of country

Make sure you are up to date on vaccinations.
Make sure you are up to date on vaccinations.
Make sure all of your medicine is in its original container.
Make sure all of your medicine is in its original container.
Dr. Jacob Blum meets with a patient.
Dr. Jacob Blum meets with a patient.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you're planning a trip out of country this summer there are a few simple precautions you should take before you go to insure a healthy return home.

World traveler Deron Johnston is an engineer with Louisville based Vogt Power. He visits lots of countries on work visas, "Thailand is on our frequent travels schedule. Actually I've had work visas in 8 different countries" Johnston said.

Before landing anywhere on foreign soil, his company arranges a visit with Dr. Jacob Blum, a specialist in travel medicine with Baptist Medical Associates.

Some of the vaccines Johnston has needed for his travels include typhoid, hepatitis A and B and a tetanus booster.  

"Hepatitis A is a vaccine that protects people for 12 months from contaminated food and food handling and water" Dr. Blum said. "Things like meningitis are an issue, yellow fever is a major issue for South America and Africa."

Destination, of course determines which vaccines a traveler will need, but there are many health precautions to take even when remaining on the beaten path. For dream vacations in Europe for example health hazards are awaiting you.

"Specifically places like Spain, Italy, Greece" Dr. Blum said, "they're beautiful countries, well developed, but the infrastructure is corroding." It puts the water, sanitation and health in jeopardy.

One third of international travelers experience travel related illnesses like diarrhea. Blum recommends getting bottled water your first stop off the plane and in addition to using it for drinking he says to also brush your teeth with bottled water.

He also recommends steering clear of street vendor foods and anything that appears risky. "It smells good and looks good, but you have to make sure it's cooked thoroughly" said Blum.

Definitely include insect repellant containing DEET. "Insects, especially mosquitoes carry a lot of disease" Blum said.

These same suggestions apply for travelers to the Caribbean, or areas with rain forests and jungles. Measles, for example are a serious problem in the Dominican Republic.  

Check with your doctor to be certain you and your children are up to date on all routine vaccines.  " A lot diseases exist, real life, not just that theoretical one case" Blum said.

Another travel tip when taking routine meds, don't pack them in pill sorters. Put your medication in your original containers or they may get confiscated by Border Patrol.

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