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

Travel Health Journal

Hand holding a small globe

In the news: Mental health emergencies & insurance nightmares

The holiday travel season is almost here! In this edition of “In the News”, we found 4 stories that can help you avoid pitfalls on your holiday getaway. We’ve included tips and links to more detailed resources on travelling with medication, travel health insurance, antibiotic resistance, and mental health and travel. 1. What to do if you forget to pack your medication while traveling abroad, according to an expert Travel + Leisure What can you do if you forget to pack your medication for an international trip? It happens to even the most seasoned travellers, but it can be tricky to replace medication in another country! Travel + Leisure interviewed our Executive Director Tullia Marcolongo to find out how ...

Assorted colourful pills on white background

Fighting back against antibiotic resistance

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic resistance has reached “dangerously high” levels on a global scale. You’re probably familiar with the term “antibiotic resistance” – but what does it actually mean and how serious is it? In honor of Antibiotic Awareness Week we explore antibiotic resistance, its health and economic implications, as well as what travellers can do to prevent one of the greatest global health challenges we face today. What is antibiotic resistance and what is the scope of the problem? Antibiotics are widely used to treat and prevent bacterial infections, but over time, bacteria can develop resistance; most are killed off by the antimicrobial agent, but naturally resistant microorganisms survive and multiply into stronger strains. ...

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Travelling with medications: A NEW guide

Are you travelling soon and currently taking prescription medication? Did you know that countries often place specific restrictions on the import of medications for personal use? If you are confused about how to travel with your prescription medication, you’re not alone. Travelling with medications is one of the most common concerns among travellers. Country regulations can be unclear and difficult to navigate, while penalties for not being in compliance can be severe. Many of us are confused about, or unaware of, these restrictions and how they are enforced. Even if you are in compliance with your destination’s restrictions, you can still run into issues with your medication during your trip. It can be a challenge to find prescription medication ...

Person holding a rainbow flag.

Staying safe and healthy: Tips for LGBTQ travellers

Travel is for everyone It’s never been easier for LGBTQ travellers to see the world. As visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQ community grows, travellers have more options for independent travel. There are also an increasing number of LGBTQ-focused companies specializing in tours, cruises, and custom trips that offer adventure, luxury, family fun, or simply a safe space to be yourself. According to OutNow Consulting, LGBTQ travellers spent $218 billion dollars on travel and tourism in 2018 alone. In this blog, we highlight what LGBTQ travellers should keep in mind when planning a trip, including tips on staying safe, the importance of researching LGBTQ laws and cultural attitudes, and what to do if you need to see a doctor ...

Paul Yonga IAMAT Scholar

IAMAT Scholars in action: Dr. Paul Yonga

We are pleased to introduce you to our latest IAMAT Scholar, Dr. Paul Yonga. Paul is an infectious and tropical disease physician based in Eldoret, Kenya. He was awarded the 2019 IAMAT Violet Williams Travel Medicine Scholarship to train with the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM) and participate in clinical observations at the Travel Doctor Clinic in Johannesburg. IAMAT Scholarships provide training in travel medicine to practitioners who are passionate about improving care for local patients and travellers in their community. Our Scholarships strive to increase the capacity of local health services so that everyone has access to safe and reliable healthcare, no matter who or where they are. We caught up with Paul to learn more ...

Mosquito

Zika Virus: Is it still a risk?

For many of us, the Zika Virus epidemic of 2016-17 seems like a distant memory. But at the time, the disease received widespread global news coverage, changed travel plans and the tourism sector, and most of all, had significant, life-long effects on the health of infected children and families. And then suddenly, it was gone. Case numbers dwindled, panic subsided, and other news stories took the forefront. But did the virus really disappear? For World Mosquito Day this year, we’re exploring how the Aedes mosquito (responsible for transmitting Zika) caused an international health crisis. We’ll also be looking at the current level of Zika Virus risk and how travellers can stay protected. Understanding Zika Zika Virus is primarily transmitted ...

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The perfect bathroom read: Tips on managing Travellers’ Diarrhea

There’s nothing that plagues travellers more than diarrhea. Caused by ingesting bacteria, viruses, or protozoa, Travellers’ Diarrhea (TD) is one of the trickiest illnesses to avoid. Fortunately, most cases resolve after a few unpleasant days but in some, TD can lead to more serious health effects or conditions such as Postinfectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS). In today’s blog, we’re looking at some of the ways you can reduce your risk and what to do if you get sick during your trip. What’s the risk? TD can affect up to 70% of travellers. It is most commonly caused by bacteria (such as Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella spp., Salmonella spp., and others) transmitted via the fecal-oral route – when infected ...

Doctor consulting patient

What to expect at your travel clinic appointment

Congratulations – You booked your flight and you’re off on your next adventure! Not so fast. Before you leave, take a few simple steps to stay healthy on your trip. By taking the time to understand the health risks at your destination, you’ll keep those around you healthy too. If you’ve never been to a travel clinic, here’s what to expect. Before you go to a travel clinic Make an appointment with your family doctor. Your primary healthcare provider and pharmacist may be able to take care of all your travel health needs, including vaccinations. If your doctor doesn’t have expertise in travel health or you need Yellow Fever vaccination, they will refer you to a travel health specialist ...

Manuel Villalobos and his wife at the summit of Cerro Chirripo

IAMAT Scholars: Where are they now?

Did you know that we’ve awarded over 30 travel medicine scholarships to doctors and nurses since 2002? Our scholars have gone on to conduct research on travellers’ health, implement travel medicine best practices in their communities, and become leaders in travel medicine. Today, we’re checking in with two of our past scholars, Manuel and Ramesh. Manuel Villalobos (2016) and Ramesh Maniam (2017) both received the Stella & George Bryant Travel Medicine Scholarship. They trained at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London, UK. We caught up with Manuel and Ramesh to see how they’re putting their knowledge into practice. What are IAMAT Scholarships? Our scholarships help practitioners who are already ...

Green car driving down a coastal road

Summer travel checklist

The kids are out of school, the sun is shining, and your bags are packed – the summer travel season is here! But before you hit the road, there are a few key things you and your family can do to ensure you have a healthy trip: Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date There is no better time than now to ensure your routine immunizations are up-to-date. Recently, vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly Measles, have been making a resurgence due to incomplete vaccination, vaccine refusal, gaps in vaccine coverage, and waning immunity. Measles outbreaks continue to affect many destinations around the world, including many US states, Canadian provinces, and countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia. If you are unsure about you ...