International Travel

Each year millions of Americans travel abroad for vacation, business, or to visit friends and family. Unfortunately, about half of these international travelers get sick or injured during their trip.

The good news is that most travel-related sickness and injury can be prevented. You are likely to be a traveler who has an enjoyable trip free from illness or injury when you follow these tips:

  • Be informed: Learn about travel health risks and what to do to avoid them before your trip.
  • Be ready: Get any vaccinations (shots) or medicines that you will need before your trip.
  • Be smart while you travel: Make sure you follow travel safety tips while you are on your trip.
Be Informed

Contact a Community Health Nurse at Okanogan County Public Health (OCPH) to find out what you need to know about staying healthy and safe in the area where you are traveling to and you will get information about:

  • disease and safety risks and how to avoid them
  • special notices about outbreaks or other disease activity
  • what shots or preventive medications (prophylaxis) you should or will be required to get

Important! Some countries require you to present a certificate that says you have had a yellow fever vaccination before you can enter. Only authorized healthcare providers can give the yellow fever vaccine. The vaccine should be given at least 10 days before travel and a stamped vaccine certificate will be issued to you by the immunization center.

If you have special considerations for travel such as planning to travel while pregnant, traveling with children, traveling with pets or maybe it's a last-minute trip without much planning at all, remember to read the specific advice Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has for you. The Traveler Advice section of the CDC Traveler's Health page has several helpful resource links to help prompt some thoughtful travel preparations.

Before you go, be sure to review any illness or injury while abroad information available about what to do if you get sick or injured during your trip.
Be Ready

You should give yourself at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to get started on any required/recommended vaccinations (shots) or medicines. This will give your shots time to work so you will be protected during your trip. If it is less than four weeks before you leave, you should still talk with a Public Health Nurse at OCPH about preparing your health for the trip. It might not be too late to get your shots, medications, and other useful information.

Prepare a traveler's health kit so you have all the medications and supplies you may need before you go.
Be Smart While You Travel

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available and your hands are not visibly dirty, use alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol) to clean your hands.
  • Drink only bottled or boiled water or carbonated (bubbly) drinks from sources you trust. Do not drink tap water or fountain drinks, or eat ice cubes.
  • Only eat food that has been fully cooked or fruits and vegetables that have been washed and peeled by you. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
  • If visiting an area where you might get malaria, make sure to take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after your trip, as directed.
  • If you might be bitten by insects (like mosquitoes or ticks) use insect repellent (bug spray) with 30-50% DEET. The label on the container will tell you the DEET content.
  • Make sure you know how to protect yourself from injury while you travel. Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injury deaths in travelers. Swimming-related accidents are also a major cause of injury among travelers.

If you follow the tips and recommendations your Healthcare provider and the CDC Travelers' Health site offer, you are more likely to remain healthy and safe, so you can enjoy your time away from home.

   Happy and safe traveling!
Top Travel Tips

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol) to clean your hands.
  • Drink only boiled or bottled water or carbonated drinks from sources you trust. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes.
  • Eat only fully cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it!
  • Avoid poultry farms, bird markets, and other places where live poultry is raised or kept.
  • If visiting an area where there is risk for malaria, take malaria prevention medication before, during, and after your trip, as directed.
  • If you might be bitten by insects (like mosquitoes or ticks) use insect repellent (bug spray) with 30- 50% DEET.
  • Know what to do to prevent injuries during your trip.
  • Visit the CDC COVID-19 Travel page for current alerts, recommendations & reminders during the pandemic.
  • Remember to plan your return home. Don't delay contacting your Healthcare provider if you don't feel well after you return from your trip.

 

OCPH, PO Box 231, 1234 South 2nd Avenue, Okanogan, WA  98840  (509) 422-7140