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Travelling usually involves a change in topography and climate, which exposes individual to different health conditions. World Health Organization proposes that worldwide travelling could pose numerous health risks to the traveler, based on the nature of the travel and the traveler (2009, p.1). The individual might undergo drastic changes in environmental factors and other elements like presence of microbes. Other factors that might lead to health risks include poor housing, dirty water, and poor sanitation among others.
All persons planning to travel should take into account all the potential hazards of the country of destiny and learn the preventive measures of these diseases. Although the travel industry and medical profession may offer useful information about the health risks and their precautions, it is the responsibility of travelers to seek travel advisories for specific countries of destiny.
This will provide the knowledge of the risks involved and the appropriate precautions for the journey. This paper will examine the travel advisories for London, Paris, Italy, and Canada.
Travelers should be able to identify reliable sources offering travel advisories. They can access this information from travel agencies on one hand and from credible internet websites on the other. I will rely on the CDC Travelers’ website for travel advisories pertaining to these destinies.
London, like any other place on earth can have unique elements in its atmosphere that may pose health risk to its citizen and visitors alike. Exposure to polonium 210 is the health risk that travelers to London should know. Polonium 210 (Po-210) is radiation hazard, which gets into the body by eating, breathing, or open wound. This radiation exposure can lead to severe medial conditions or even death.
The precautions recommended for travelers are unique to this health hazard. The health alert network (HAN) advised the U.S. visitors to London between October 31 and November 23, 2006 to consult their care providers for advice on need for further testing, (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2011). The travelers should try to avoid locations with high Po-210 contamination.
Travelers to Europe including Paris, on the other hand, should be concerned about the outbreak of measles. For instance, France has reported, “more than 7,500 measles cases between January and March this year” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2011).
Therefore, travelers who have not had vaccination against measles are at high risks of infection. Travelers must be up-to-date on their vaccinations. The traveler should consult his/her doctor concerning the need for a measles vaccination. However, it is important that a traveler, who cannot prove if they had their vaccination when young, to seek vaccination.
Travelers destined for Canada risk rabies infection from bats, carnivores, and other mammals. These travelers should seek rabies vaccination to protect them from infection due to bite from these mammals (CDC ‘health information’, 2011). This travel advisory applies for various categories of travelers including adventure travelers, veterinaries, researchers, and wildlife professionals.
In addition, the traveler should be concerned about other diseases prevalent in North America such as plaques, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Lyme disease, diarrhea, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Precautions associated with such risk factors involves avoiding certain events including animal bites and scratches, insects bites, concerns about food and water, and injuries.
Regarding travel to Italy, an individual needs to get vaccinations and treatments against preventable diseases. The traveler ought to consult his/her doctor to help in determining what intervention they may need. The government advises travelers to see their doctors at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to their travel.
Travel advisory is important because it alerts travelers of health risks in the region of destination and the precaution they must take to avoid these events. The health risk and the associated precautions are more or less similar. Vaccination is the most important precaution for preventing any health risks in the country of destination.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Emergency Preparedness and Response. Web.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Health information for travelers to Canada. Retrieved from <https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/canada>
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World Health Organization. (2009). International travel and health. Geneva: WHO.