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International Travel Health Guidebook Gets Updated

New CDC Yellow Book includes information on medical tourism, exotic destinations

SATURDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- If you are an international traveler, the U.S. government has a guidebook that could save your life.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new edition of CDC Health Information for International Travel, sometimes known as "The Yellow Book" for its distinctive cover, which provides medical recommendations to help travelers prepare for trips outside the United States and tips for staying healthy while away.

The book contains updated information on major health risks in various countries, vaccinations, jet lag, cruise ship travel, traveling with disabilities or children, international adoptions and immigrants visiting their native countries.

The 2010 edition includes a section on medical tourism, the increasingly popular practice of traveling abroad to combine medical procedures and leisure activities. A recent study estimated that more than 500,000 Americans traveled internationally to receive health care, usually in an effort to curb medical costs.

The authors chose travel health experts from different popular and exotic locales to educate readers about the conditions and health risks that exist at these destinations. As medical standards can vary by country, this is especially important for those seeking or requiring health care abroad.

Among new features included in the 2010 edition are:

  • Important advice for those traveling to newly popular destinations that may be unfamiliar to U.S. doctors, including eastern and southern Africa's safari regions, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and India, China, Costa Rica and Nepal.
  • Information about drug-drug and drug-vaccine interactions, which travelers need to be aware of when receiving vaccines, and about medications for trips abroad.
  • A discussion about travel and mental health.
  • A look at common post-travel illnesses, their causes and when treatment should be sought.

The hardcover guide is available at bookstores, Internet booksellers or by contacting its publisher at 1-800-545-2522 or

More information

The U.S. Department of State has more about international travel.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, July 28, 2009

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