First time, I come across the word "travel medicine". From the word itself, it is not hard to deduce that it is about medicine or something to do with travelling, pretty easy ha? Now, please elaborate more. Medicine = drugs? vaccine? travel? aeroplane? Bali island? Okay, so much for the brain storming.
In fact, travel medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention and management of health problems of international travellers. Interesting isn't it? More people travelling, travelers are seeking more exotic and remote destinations are the logical reason behinds this branch of medicine. Studies show that 50- 75% of short term travelers to tropics may have medical problem after their return home. 5% of the cases would require medical attention, and less than 1% need hospitalization. To be suprised, cardiovascular disease and injuries ( *traffic accident) record the most common causes of death among travelers.
Commonly, health advice for international travel would be immunization or vaccination especially to those long- stay travelers. According to Harrison, there are three broad categories that clasify immunizations for travel. The 3 Rs.
1) Routine immunization : childhood/ adult boosters that are neccesary despite no travel
2) Required immunization : immunizations that are mandated by international regulations for border crossing
9) a broad-spectrum general purpose antibiotic (levofloxacin or azithromycin)
11) a topical antifungal cream
What a long list! and it is just traveler's medical kit ?! Lastly, fun things to share today, self treatment of infections for the long-stay traveler:
1) "below the waist" ( bowel and bladder infections) : antibiotics, once daily, 3 tablets
2) "above the waist" ( skin and respiratory infections) : antibiotics, once daily, 6 tablets
Unbelieveable, isnt it? I mean, if this really work, everyone can be their own doctor, ha. Just so to know, the above information is taken from a reputed reference book, Harrison. Anyway, risk disclaimer here: anything happens, the author of this blog is not responsible.
1) Lecture note by dr. Tri Wibawa : Travel Medicine
2) Harrison's, Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th edition, page 783 - 4