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

Travel Health Journal

General Travel Health

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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 ...

Bathroom sign

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 ...

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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 ...

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Travel and climate change: How to stay healthy and be responsible

Did you know that as travellers, we are having significant impact on climate change? Global tourism accounts for a staggering 8% of all carbon emissions. This is four times higher than originally thought and accounts for the energy needed to support the tourism industry and related goods and services. The global tourism industry is projected to continue growing, but without a commitment to sustainable growth and reduced emissions, the effects of climate change will continue to take hold. To travel as a tourist is a privilege and we owe it to the people and places we visit to be respectful and conscious of our impact. Together, we need to commit to more sustainable forms of travel. Here are five ...

Country flags on wall

No one left behind: Supporting migrant health

When IAMAT was established in 1960, it was with a strong spirit of global community and a desire to live in a world where healthcare is accessible to all, no matter where or who you are. In honour of World Health Day, we take a look at migrant health, the barriers migrants face when accessing healthcare, and how universal coverage can make a difference. Migrant populations often arrive at their destination healthier than the native-born population, but they can face a range of health concerns that go unmet.  Universal healthcare – having access to quality healthcare regardless of your ability to pay – is an opportunity to ensure that everyone, including travellers and migrants, get the medical care they ...

Student in library

What to do and where to go? A doctor’s advice for students abroad

Imagine: You’re a student, excited to study abroad. You arrive in your new home away from home, ready for a semester of learning and exploring. New people, new places, new culture – but something isn’t right, you don’t feel well. Alone in a new place, you think, “my symptoms aren’t very serious, I don’t need a doctor”. But your condition is getting worse, and you don’t speak the language or know where to go. For a 20-year-old student from San Francisco, her stay in Rome took an unexpected turn last year when she began to experience symptoms of cough, tiredness, and difficulty swallowing. All the signs pointed towards a common cold, but she was actually suffering from a rare ...

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Sexual health and travel: 5 things to know

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of a holiday romance – but while the sand, sea, and sun set the mood, a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) can quickly ruin it. Many travellers have sexual intercourse with a new partner while away from home.  However, approximately 50% of people who engage in new sexual relationships abroad inconsistently use condoms.  As a result, a large number of STIs occur in returning travellers. Wherever you go, sexual health awareness should be an important component of your pre-trip planning to protect your health and the health of your prospective partners. In celebration of Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week, we’re highlighting five important things every traveller should know about sexual ...