Are you confused about all the travel health advice out there and don’t know if the information is credible? You’re not alone.
You may come across inconsistent advice or don’t know if you can trust the source. Travel health advice can vary from country to country and even between different public health and travel medicine professional organizations.
According to travel medicine practitioners Alan Magill and David Shlim:
Some of the reasons why guidelines differ include availability of products in different countries, a different cultural perception or risk, lack of evidence (or differing interpretations of the same evidence), and sometimes just honest difference in opinion among experts.
Another issue we encounter in our work is the lack of monitoring or under reporting of health risks. In some instances, we are aware of health risks that are not officially reported but evidence provided by our doctors or public health partners on the ground show that there is risk for travellers and local citizens. More and more, we’re also seeing how climate change is influencing the spread of mosquitoes carrying Dengue and ticks responsible for Lyme Disease, for example, in more northern climates and at higher altitudes. Migration and international travel both also play a major role in the spread of infectious diseases.
As a traveller there’s a lot of information to take in and potential risks to consider. If you’re going on a last-minute trip, for example, there’s no way you have time to make sense of it all. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled all our materials in our eLibrary for quick access. You can also access information through our destination country index or via our health risk index for quick tips or more detailed information, depending on your needs.
One of our most popular quick guides is the IAMAT Guide to Healthy Travel. This handy passport-sized booklet tells you how to prevent and treat common travel related ailments. It’s a single source of advice for traditional travellers and adventure travellers, including all the contents you’ll need to assemble your travel medicine kit and a pre-trip planning countdown timeline. The guide, written by Dr. Elaine C. Jong and Family Nurse Practitioner Anne Terry, is now available in print or as a PDF download, exclusively for IAMAT members.
Alan McGill and David Shlim are quoted in CDC Health Information for International Travel, The Yellow Book (2014); p23.
Cover photo by Amitava Chandra.