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Abington Memorial Hospital's Travelers Clinic Can Protect Travelers From The Now Active Yellow Fever
Date:2/23/2010

es help us prescribe the right medication for each area,” said Dee.

Hepatitis A, rare in the U.S. and Canada, is a much higher risk worldwide, especially in Mexico, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Central and South America. Even Greenland is affected. Yet many travelers might not think about such risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers hepatitis A “one of the most common vaccine-preventable infections acquired during travel.”

The woe known as travelers’ diarrhea afflicts as many as 50 percent of those traveling abroad. This debilitating infection, transmitted through food and water, may spread by food handlers or ice use. “We give patients prescriptions for the correct antibiotic for the area they’ll be visiting (some bacteria have become resistant),” said Dee, “and advise them to take the medicine along as it may be unavailable locally when they need it.”
   
About 700 people use Abington’s travel medicine services each year. For those with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems due to cancer, diabetes, HIV or liver ailments, infectious diseases can be especially harmful. Our system of individual itinerary and medical history review, coupled with outbreak tracking, sometimes leads us to recommend that certain destinations be avoided.

Pregnant women have specific concerns as well. Many don’t realize the risks they face from influenza and malaria. The CDC recommends they receive influenza vaccinations, but many pregnant women go unprotected without knowing the disease is active at different times around the globe. Similarly, although the CDC advises pregnant women to stay out of malaria areas, women traveling for reasons such as visiting family may continue with their plans anyway. At Abington’s Travelers Clinic, doctors can advise them on which malaria medications are safe to take during preg
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