Printer Friendly


 WOODBRIDGE, N.J., Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- To prepare for a vacation or an important business trip, most travelers carefully pack their airline tickets, currency, clothing and other personal items. However, preparations should not end there -- you should also take precautions against unexpected health ailments that can make your trip unpleasant.
 A medical specialty known as emporiatrics (derived from the Greek word, "emporos," meaning traveler) is teaching travelers and their physicians about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of travel-related illnesses.
 Kenneth Dardick, M.D., a leading practitioner of emporiatrics, answers some commonly asked questions about travel-related health problems.
 Q. Is it really unsafe to drink water in some countries?
 A. Yes. Many infections can be acquired by direct contact with organisms found in contaminated water supplies. In areas of poor sanitation or hygiene, you should avoid tap water, fresh vegetables and fruits, cold foods, raw or undercooked meats, and fish, poultry and dairy products. Use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth, and avoid beverages chilled with ice cubes made from local water.
 Q. Why does vacationing in mountainous areas make me feel funny?
 A. The comparatively low oxygen content of the air at high elevations can cause altitude sickness, characterized by lethargy, excessive sleepiness, insomnia and headache. To allow ample time for this adaptation, you should minimize physical exertion, alcohol intake and smoking during the first few days in this new environment.
 Q. What about the queasiness I feel in planes and boats, and even in the backseat of a car?
 A. An estimated 26 million Americans suffer from motion sickness. A number of medications are on the market for the prevention of the condition. One of the most effective is Transderm Scop(R) (scopolamine 1.5 mg), a dime-sized medicated adhesive patch worn behind the ear to prevent the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness for up to three days. It uses the transdermal or "through the skin" system to deliver medication into the bloodstream.
 Transderm Scop is a prescription product that should not be used by children or by those who have trouble urinating, are allergic to scopolamine or who have glaucoma. Transderm Scop has been clinically tested. During the studies some side effects were noted, including blurred vision, dryness of the mouth (in two-thirds of users) and drowsiness (reported incidence less than 1 in 6). Users are warned against driving or operating machinery. Use with special care in the elderly and avoid drinking alcohol while using this product.
 Q. What about those wild tse-tse flies and other exotic viruses I've seen in movies?
 A. Although much of this is exaggerated, it is true that mosquitoes and other insects may carry many organisms capable of producing severe illness. Use insect repellent containing DEET, cover your arms and legs, wear light clothing, don't use perfume of cologne, and protect your sleeping quarters with netting screens.
 Q. Will I have to get shots before I go?
 A. Many diseases can be prevented by proper immunization, but your need for immunization will depend on a number of factors, such as the countries you will visit, your personal medical history, the length of your trip, and the status of current disease outbreaks. In any case, you doctor can tell you which immunizations are needed for you.
 Q. Is it true I could be legally detained at the border or in customs if I don't have certain medical documents?
 A. Yes. Most countries have established requirements for certain immunizations which must be documented before entry is allowed. Since many countries frequently change their health regulations, you should obtain the most current information through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organizations (WHO).
 Q. How can I keep from feeling so tired and weary after a long trip?
 A. When you are going east to west, begin arising later three days prior to departure; if you are traveling west to east, begin waking earlier during the pre-flight period. Also, make travel arrangements that will enable you to adjust to new time zones more easily, such as scheduling layovers when you are crossing four or more time zones.
 -0- 8/3/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: B&W photos, and interview with Dr. Dardick available./
 /CONTACT: Gina Macmillan, D.J. Storch & Associates, 908-273-1400/

CO: Ciba Geigy ST: New Jersey IN: LEI SU:

LV -- NYTFNS9 -- 8646 08/03/93 06:54 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 3, 1993

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters