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

Travel Health Journal

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Meet Angeline and Winona, IAMAT’s 2009 Scholars

Angeline (right) and Winona (left).  We recently met up with Dr. Ye Wei (Winona) and Dr. Meng Jing (Angeline) to talk about their two-month internship at Kaiser Permanente’s Koolau Clinic and Honolulu Clinic in Hawaii. The two medical practitioners from China were each awarded a scholarship through our International Travel Medicine Education Program. The fund, which is solely supported by the generous donations of IAMAT members, has given 13 scholarships since 2002. Chosen for their leadership skills, the two doctors will return home to teach their colleagues the skills they have learned in Hawaii, improving travel medicine practices in their workplace for the benefit of ill travellers. The art and science of travel medicine During the two-month intensive training ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Travel Writing Workshop: Sept 15-19

After taking a short summer break, the IAMAT Blog is back! Many of us are winding down our summer travels and holidays, getting ready for the back to work and back to school season. For us at IAMAT, it’s usually a time to take stock of the coming year, start new projects – a new beginning of sorts. If you are considering taking up a new challenge this Fall and have always dreamed of combining your travel experience, creativity, and passion to discover new things and meet new people, there’s an affordable workshop for you. Robert Haru Fisher, a columnist and contributing editor for frommers.com (and a member of IAMAT’s Board of Directors), is offering his popular Travel Writing ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Getting Travel Health Insurance? Here’s What You Need to Know

Looking for advice on travel health insurance? Check out our Guide to Travel Health Insurance. We often get asked about the merits and pitfalls of travel health insurance here at IAMAT. Distraught friends or family members of hospitalized travellers who are not insured call us inquiring about last-minute evacuation plans, others ask us whether they should get travel health insurance. Many also contact us to tell us about their frustration with their travel health insurance policy, mainly for what it doesn’t cover. When we first started 49 years ago, travel health insurance did not exist. Nowadays, the travel health insurance sector is a multi-million dollar industry with hundreds of companies and brokers, including web-based ones, who specialize in this ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Influenza A(H1N1) – Update #4

The World Health Organization’s recent A(H1N1) Influenza pandemic declaration is no cause for panic. It is important to keep in mind that the WHO’s upgrade to Phase 6 is strictly based on the geographic spread of the infection (the virus is currently making its way throughout the southern hemisphere as part of their normal flu season) rather than the number of infected people or the severity of the symptoms. Here’s what public health officials currently know about this new strain of the A H1N1 virus (also known as human swine flu): Human-to-human transmission occurs through infected cough or sneeze droplets either inhaled or by touching a contaminated surface. The majority of infected persons experience mild symptoms and fully recover, ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

New IAMAT Medical Centres

We are very pleased to welcome 3 new medical clinics to our network. Travellers to Lima, Québec City and Washington, DC will get quality medical care from the following IAMAT affiliated doctors: Kenneth H. Chase, MD of Washington Occupational Health Associates in Washington, DC. Christian Fortin, MD, MPH of Santé Millénia in Québec City. Hugo Siu, MD of Clinica Anglo Americana in Lima. Keep checking our Blog for new additions to our Medical Directory before your trip. Our online version is always being updated with new additions and contact information changes. IAMAT Staff

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Influenza A(H1N1) – Update #3

Although this A(H1N1) influenza virus is genetically linked to swine, and occasionally to turkeys, scientists believe that the closest relatives of the new strain were previously found in North America and Europe/Asia. What is still not clear is how humans first contracted this strain of the virus. Scientists are still trying to figure out if the virus recently underwent a mutation or whether there has been insufficient surveillance of swine populations detecting the virus. To better reflect the current understanding of the infection, the World Health Organization is referring to the virus as Influenza A(H1N1). If you are planning international travel, consult your national public health agency to see if there are any travel advisories for your destination country. ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Human Swine Influenza Outbreak – Update #2

As more news updates about the swine flu outbreak are coming in, sometimes contradictory, it’s easy to panic and forget common sense. Reports of the infection spreading to more countries, new travel health advisories for Mexico, and the World Health Organization revising the infection status as causing ‘community-level outbreaks’, tend to inadvertently increase our level of fear. In all this flurry of activity, it is important to keep in mind that this situation is not a pandemic and that a majority of cases have reported mild symptoms (although it is yet unclear why the strain is more virulent in Mexico). In fact, the regular seasonal flu is currently a larger threat to public health than swine flu. This outbreak ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Human Swine Influenza Outbreak

The recent outbreak of Swine influenza, by a new subtype of the A H1N1 virus, originated in Mexico and severe respiratory illness was first reported in March. Cases have since been confirmed in the United States and Canada. On April 25, the World Health Organization reported the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Several countries have issued non-essential travel advisories to Mexico. Check your national public health agency for updated information. The extent of the current outbreak in humans is still unknown; this new viral subtype has not been previously detected in pigs or humans. Swine flu is common in pig populations and the infection is known to be transmitted from pigs to humans. The search now, ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Issues in Group Travel

When you travel in a group, if you are like me, you may sometimes leave your brains behind. That is, you leave a lot of decisions to the group leader. I had an experienced traveler come up to me in the lobby of Tokyo’s best western-style hotel to ask “Bob, you lived in Tokyo, I know. How do I get a taxi here?” And I had to remind her that the man in uniform at the front door here would summon her a cab, just as his counterpart would do at any major hotel in the world. But you should think for yourself when it comes to your own special interests, even if you travel with a group and ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Welcome to the IAMAT Blog!

We are very pleased to announce the re-launch of our website. Our new site better reflects our work and we hope that you will find all the information you need to make your trip a safe and healthy one. Exciting new features will allow you to: Get instant membership in your inbox – IAMAT membership is free. Get a tax deductible receipt (US and Canada) in your inbox for your donation to IAMAT – any amount is appreciated. Access all the travel health advice you need, including vaccinations, disease risks, and food and water safety advice for your destination. Easily access our popular Medical Directory using your IAMAT membership number to find qualified IAMAT affiliated doctors at your destination. ...

Travel Health Journal