Telluride Med Center: Should I Cancel My Travel Plans?

Telluride Med Center: Should I Cancel My Travel Plans?

With off-season and spring break fast approaching and coronavirus concerns on everyone’s minds, many in the Telluride community are wondering whether or not they can still enjoy their travel plans — especially those headed to international destinations. Answers below by Dr. Sharon Grundy of the Telluride Medical Center.

Dr. Sharon Grundy

Here are some of the most helpful links, our own personal advice and a re-release of Eric Johnson’s Tips for Safe & Healthy Travel.

The most important thing you should know is that the The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) will be the best resource for travel bans and advisories.

Those with travel plans, (international or otherwise) should be checking CDC’s Travel Health Notices site often. The CDC Travelers’ Health page could be your second stop.

The CDC’s Frequently Asked Travel Questions is also especially useful. “Should I cancel my trip?” is the top question!

Who We Want to Hear From:

We’re advising our patients with increased risk factors — those with chronic lung disease, chronic cardiac disease, diabetes, the same conditions that put you at greater risk of severe illness from influenza — to talk with your health care provider if their travel plans include visiting a country or region that makes the CDC’s list of affected geographic areas.

Likewise for patients over 65 years of age, in recognition that older adults are at a greater risk of developing severe complications from seasonal influenza, another viral respiratory disease. In recent years, according to the CDC, between 70 and 85 percent of seasonal flu deaths have occurred in people 65 and older.

And regardless of where you’re off to, every country has its own special risks, from minor to severe, and a consultation prior to travel can help to identify risks and remedies.

Tips For Safe & Healthy Travel by Nurse Practitioner Eric Johnson:

Eric Johnson MS, FNP-BC, has been with the the Medical Center’s Primary Care team since 1997. This month he’s writing about four vaccines you may want to consider.

1. Seek Consultation with a knowledgeable health care provider 2-4 weeks prior to travel.

2. Get appropriate vaccines for specific destinations. These should be done at least two weeks before travel, but even have benefits if given in a shorter interval. Some vaccines are recommended to protect against diseases prevalent in specific countries, while some countries require specific vaccines for entry to the country.

3. Create a personal first aid and medical kit containing travel and personal medications for your trip. These should be in your carry-on luggage and always in their original containers. The availability and quality of supplies and medications may be questionable in many developing countries.

4. Consider evacuation and travel insurance if traveling out of the U.S. or  are two providers. These policies are not expensive and can be literal lifesavers if the need arises.

5. Take precautions against malaria and other insect borne diseases. Take anti-malarial medication as recommended by your health care provider. Medications should be purchased in the U.S. as many medications overseas contain no active ingredients. In addition to malaria, there are many mosquito and other bug borne illnesses that require bug precaution measures. See for insect protection products.

Keep reading tips 6 – 11…

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