IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal

Woman getting flu shot

Is it COVID-19 or the flu? Why you should get vaccinated.

Countries around the world are seeing COVID-19 cases surge after successfully slowing down outbreaks earlier this year. As we scramble to respond to second-waves of infection, an additional challenge is fast approaching: flu season. Getting your annual flu shot is more important than ever this year. If you haven’t received the vaccine in recent years, this is the year to get it. In this blog, we answer some common questions about the flu shot and why it’s so important to get vaccinated whether you are travelling or not. Why is it important to get vaccinated this year? There are several reasons to get the flu shot this year. Flu season often takes an enormous toll on healthcare systems. As ...

World Tourism Day 2020

Returning to travel responsibly: World Tourism Day

This year’s celebration of World Tourism Day feels a little different. Countries around the world are slowly reopening their borders and international travel is on the rise but concern about COVID-19 continues to permeate the travel industry. There is no set timeframe or guide for the industry’s recovery, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in many regions and a vaccine or treatment is yet to be developed. It is clear, however, that recovery needs to ensure the long-term health of people and the planet. In this blog, in celebration of World Tourism Day, we are looking at how tourism can become more responsible and what we, as travellers, can do to make sure we protect our health and ...

“The search for the human”: 60 years of supporting health and building understanding

This year, we celebrate 60 years! When IAMAT was founded, it wasn’t easy for travellers to find information about health risks at their destination, or even advice on how to stay well while travelling. In the decades since, our mission has been to change that. Through the years, we have introduced ground-breaking resources in the field of travel medicine including our World Immunization and World Malaria Risk Charts, a series on travel and mental health, and guides on travel health insurance. We have also built a global network of passionate and committed IAMAT-affiliated doctors and supported the education of over 30 scholars from emerging economy countries to train in travel medicine. All of this work has been in service ...

Hospital beds

In the news: The effects of COVID-19 on other infectious diseases

This article is part of our regular travel and global health news round-up. The crushing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic have strained healthcare systems and capacity around the world. Many communities have been responding to the pandemic and grappling with the collateral damage of COVID-19 on other public health crises, as seen by reports of increases in overdoses amid the opioid epidemic, increases in domestic abuse and as Oxfam reports, millions being pushed towards hunger. Physical distancing measures and lockdowns have kept some infectious diseases from spreading as they normally would – for now. However, many programs and funding streams typically dedicated to providing essential healthcare services have been temporarily put on hold or redirected. This has created a ...

Person standing in rice fields

How to travel safely and responsibly as COVID-19 restrictions ease up

The COVID-19 pandemic has given us an opportunity to reset and reevaluate the way we travel. Non-essential international travel is currently still not advised, but as restrictions begin to lift and travel begins to slowly resume, we need to ask: How can we travel better and more consciously? In this blog, we outline some key things to consider before your next trip – whether it’s an international flight or summer road-trip. The travel landscape is different now and we should seize this moment to reassess our travel habits in order to reduce our health and environmental footprint and protect the communities we visit. Understanding the risks This pandemic has emphasized the role travellers play in the international spread of ...

Sunset over nuclear plant

Air pollution and travel: How to stay safe and reduce your impact

Since lockdowns were imposed around the world to combat the spread of COVID-19, industrial activity largely grinded to a halt. This has led to the sharpest drop in carbon emissions since air pollution data was first recorded – by early April, daily global emissions had fallen by 17% compared to 2019 data. For cities and regions around the world struggling with consistently poor air quality this comes as a welcome reprieve, especially as exposure to air pollution may contribute to worsening symptoms of COVID-19 or increased mortality. In this blog, we highlight important information about air pollution, including the recent changes we’ve made to our country-specific air pollution data, and tips on how you can reduce your exposure and ...

Airplane flying overhead

Travel health insurance: Lessons from COVID-19

For many travellers, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of their travel health insurance. In this blog, we discuss how the pandemic has affected travel health insurance coverage and offer advice on what to consider for your next trip. Many people began reconsidering their travel plans at the beginning of the pandemic and due to a lack of coverage, were forced to make the difficult decision between cancelling their trip – and losing hundreds or thousands of dollars – or risk travelling. Some insurers also began flagging the COVID-19 pandemic as a “known event” as early as January, meaning that policies purchased thereafter would not cover any COVID-19 related claims. As governments began implementing travel restrictions and encouraging ...

COVID-19: Essential Reading

The COVID-19 pandemic has been dominating the news cycle for months now. To help you sift through the noise, we’ve collected articles and resources so you can stay up-to-date on the latest developments, current gaps in research, and what we can learn from the different global responses to this new disease. The basics of COVID-19: What you need to know For information on COVID-19 – including how it spreads, symptoms and what to do if you feel ill – refer to your local health authority and government. These sources will also have information on what prevention measures are currently taking place in your community. Make sure you and your family are following official guidance regarding physical distancing, travel, and ...

COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2)

COVID-19: Travel restrictions, returning travellers, and advice for travellers abroad

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. Many countries have introduced measures that significantly affect how we live, work, and travel. As COVID-19 continues to spread among communities around the world, it’s important to work together to reduce transmission and protect those most at risk. In this blog, you will find updated guidance on international travel restrictions, what to do if you’re currently abroad or a returning traveller as well as what you can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your community. We also link to resources on caring for your mental health during the pandemic. Have more questions about COVID-19 and travel? Check out: Coronavirus COVID-19 Q&A. Can I still travel internationally? At ...

COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2)

The disease on every traveller’s mind: COVID-19

The end of 2019 ushered in something new: an epidemic. For the last two months, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has captivated the world’s attention. COVID-19 has spread to 6 continents – only Antarctica is free of infections – and as cases increase, many of us have questions about the virus and how or if we should be travelling. In this blog, we answer your questions about COVID-19 and provide information on what to do if you’re travelling soon. What is the novel coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause illness in people and animals. Infections from coronaviruses can vary in severity from the common cold, which causes mild illness, to more severe forms such ...