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

Travel Health Journal

Person standing on a beach in a storm. Photo by Witch Kiki, Unsplash.

In the news: Extreme weather

This article is part of our monthly travel and global health news round-up. Here at IAMAT, our main focus is on travel health and not specifically on safety when abroad (there are many organizations and government departments that provide useful travel safety information). However, the two often overlap, and nowhere is this more evident than during extreme weather at popular travel destinations. Flooding, hurricanes, heat waves, and other weather events can have sudden and dramatic impacts on the health and safety of travellers and local people. Hurricanes and flooding Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria battered the Caribbean and the southern United States in September. Some locations suffered minimal damage and were ready to host travellers again within a week or ...

Sea turtle swimming through a reef. Photo by Scott Ruzzene, Unsplash.

In the news: Coral reefs and sunscreen, toilets, and accessible travel

This article is part of our monthly travel and global health news round-up. This month we look at some of the big questions in responsible travel: Why are coral reefs dying? How do toilets and sanitation affect me and the communities I visit? We also look at two facets of accessible travel: A step by step guide to travelling with MS and one expert’s thoughts on why accessible travel is so rewarding, despite its challenges. In the news this month 1. Is Your Sunscreen Poisoning the Ocean? The New York Times It’s well known that protecting yourself from sun exposure helps to prevent sun damage that can lead to skin cancer and other illnesses. Sunscreen is one of the main ...

Boat on the Amazon River. Photo by Kepler Web, FreeImages.

The Amazon: Staying well on your river cruise

River cruising in the rainforest The Amazon basin is a vast region that spans 9 countries. Travellers visit the region for its incredible biodiversity and the chance to experience wildlife and the rainforest firsthand. There’s no doubt about the amazing flora and fauna in the Amazon, but the confined spaces of a cruise ship and infections transmitted by insects, animals, and microorganisms can be a risk to your health. Here’s how to stay well as you explore. Staying healthy in the Amazon Most Amazon cruises begin in the city of Manaus, Brazil or Iquitos, Peru. In the Amazon region, the extent of some diseases (such as Schistosomiasis and Chagas) remains unknown. Luckily, you don’t have to leave your health ...

A man, woman, and child sitting on a low bridge by a field. Photo by Keith Moore.

In the news: Travel health insurance

This article is part of our monthly travel and global health news round-up. July and August are busy months for travellers. Several stories about travellers’ medical care experiences abroad have been in the news lately, so travel health insurance is the theme of this edition. In the news this month 1. Travel insurance providers remove mental health illness exclusions The Sydney Morning Herald Great news! Two Australian insurance companies have removed exclusions that deny travellers coverage for mental health conditions. This is a step in the right direction. We recognise the critical importance of incorporating specific cover for people with mental health conditions into our policies. – Mike Emmett, chief executive of the insurance company Cover-More Australia Travellers with ...

Three monkeys sitting on a wall in Nepal. Photo by Tullia Marcolongo.

In the news: A travel medicine pioneer, volunteering, monkeys, and dementia

You’re reading the latest edition of our monthly travel and health news round up. Every month, we share four interesting articles in travel and tropical medicine. Refugee health has been at the top of our minds recently. World Refugee Day on June 20 was an important reminder that not everyone gets to choose when and where they travel. (You can see the highlights of the recent North American Refugee Health Conference with the hashtag #NARHCTO on Twitter.) In the news this month 1. Martin Wolfe, doctor specializing in tropical and travel medicine, dies at 82 Washington Post Martin Wolfe was a long-time IAMAT physician. We will always remember his kindness and generosity. – IAMAT President M. Assunta Uffer-Marcolongo Dr. ...

Blood glucose meter and supplies. Photo by Steve Buissinne, Pixabay.

First time travelling with diabetes?

Written with information from IAMAT’s new pocket guide for senior travellers by Claire Westmacott (to be published in October 2017). Travelling with diabetes Managing diabetes during travel may seem daunting, but there are many resources to help you plan a healthy trip. Diabetes management (especially insulin dosage) is highly individual, so it’s essential that you consult your health practitioner before you travel. Here are some things to consider when planning your next trip. Before you go Book an appointment with your health practitioner to discuss managing your diabetes during your trip. Plan to bring enough insulin, medication, and supplies for the full duration of your trip, including extra in case they get stolen or lost. If you use insulin, ...

The wing of an airplane over the ocean and an island.

In the news: Vaccines, bug spray, pharmacies, and brain drain

We’re trying something new: A monthly round up of fascinating articles in travel and global health. Every month, we’ll highlight issues of interest to travellers, initiatives in global health, tropical medicine research, scientific discoveries, and more. Check our blog each month for the latest round up. Four things we liked this month 1. Travel smart: Don’t leave travel vaccines to the last minute Toronto Star Planning a trip? There are important reasons not to leave vaccines to the last minute. Pharmacist Victor Wong explains: A lot of people don’t realize that not only do some of these vaccines take a few weeks to be effective, but they might be part of a multi-series of vaccines. It usually takes a minimum ...

Travellers walking through an airport with suitcases. Photo by Negative Space, Pexels.

Travelling with anxiety: Coping on-the-go

Wherever you go, it’s important to prepare for the effects of travel on your mental well-being. In honour of Mental Health Month we have updated our Travel and Mental Health Series to provide you with advice for a healthy and safe trip. Topics include travel and depression, substance use, anxiety, psychosis and travel stress. Access the full series here. Travel is an exciting opportunity to explore new places, people, and activities. However, being away from familiar surroundings and dealing with change can be challenging for some travellers; feelings of anxiety can reoccur or emerge for the first time. Anxiety disorders are manageable and if you prepare in advance and are actively coping with your anxiety, you can travel safely ...

Around the world: Tick-borne diseases

Ticks on the move Hiking and camping are popular activities for travellers, but make sure you’re prepared to fend off ticks before you go. Ticks are tiny arachnids that feed on blood. They’re often associated with hiking and camping in forested areas, but ticks infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease have been found in city parks in Europe and North America. Thanks to climate change and urban sprawl, ticks are coming into closer contact with humans. Scientists hope that more research on ticks will help limit the spread of tick-borne illnesses (like this research on the black-legged tick’s immune system and this project on how mice contribute to the spread of Lyme in the United States). When ...

Travel Health Planner button with airplane

New: Try our Travel Health Planner!

Simplify trip planning Planning a healthy trip can be complicated. From vaccines to health risks, being informed can be time-consuming – and it only becomes more complex when you’re planning a multi-country trip. (Especially when it comes to Yellow Fever!) That’s why we are so excited to share the new Travel Health Planner for IAMAT members. Introducing the Travel Health Planner The Travel Health Planner is a tool to help you plan a healthy trip. It provides health advice and vaccination recommendations based on your itinerary. Recommendations are presented in a simple table, followed by detailed information for each country. You can add as many countries as you like to your Planner. The Planner takes into account the countries ...

Travel Health Journal