At the International Travel Medicine Program, nurses and physicians on staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford offer a full range of pre-travel vaccinations, preventive medications and counseling services to travelers.
The travel medicine nurses and physicians on staff will evaluate each traveler's general state of health, assess medical history and, based on the traveler's planned itinerary, recommend and administer immunizations, prescriptions and other necessary health precautions.
Designated by the state of Texas as an official yellow fever vaccination site, the program also provides other travel immunizations including vaccines for:
- Yellow fever
- Typhoid fever
- Hepatitis A and B
- Japanese encephalitis
Medications may also be prescribed by a physician on staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford for the prevention of malaria, motion sickness and altitude sickness as well as for the treatment of travel-associated diarrhea.
In addition to vaccinations, the International Travel Medicine Program has access to a worldwide network of continually updated health information. As health risks change throughout the world, the program advises travelers of any additional precautions they may need to take. These specific risks may be related to water, food, disease, environment, politics, social conditions and other complications.
For more information, call 817-848-4743. The International Travel Medicine Program accepts cash, checks and credit cards.
- Obtain pre-travel health advice before embarking on an adventure to another country. Even if you've previously traveled to the same destination, health conditions can change. Many travelers do not obtain advice for travel to Western Europe, Australia, Japan and Canada. Mad cow disease is an example of a potential health risk in developed countries.
- Purchase or create a traveler's medical kit appropriate for your medical history, itinerary and length of stay. The International Travel Medicine Program can direct you to appropriate lists or specific items to purchase.
- If you are traveling to an area with malaria, obtain appropriate anti-malarial medication. There are many types of prescribed anti-malarial medications and it is important to obtain the correct medication for you and your destination. Don't be surprised if your traveling partner's prescription differs from yours. Your prescription, prescribed by a physician on staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford, is determined by your medical history and destination.
- Mosquitoes can transmit many diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, breakbone fever, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever. Don't forget to pack insect repellant, shirts with long sleeves, pants, and mosquito netting for certain destinations.
- Contaminated water is the source of many unhappy vacations. Most travelers are very educated on the use of bottled water or beverages. However, many people forget that ice cubes are a potential source of contamination. Use ice only if you know it is made from clean (boiled, purified or bottled) water.
- Only eat food you know has been thoroughly cooked, especially meat. Avoid raw or uncooked food, seafood and salads. Select pasteurized milk, cheese and other pasteurized dairy products such as yogurt. Eat fruits and vegetables with thick skins that you can peel yourself (avocados, bananas, papayas, mangos, grapefruit and oranges).
- Do not walk barefoot outdoors. Wear shoes or footgear made for the beach. Wearing appropriate footgear can prevent infection from parasites, fungi, insect bites (chiggers, ticks, sandfleas) and other injuries (snakebites, puncture wounds, lacerations).
- Do not swim or bathe in fresh water streams, rivers, or lakes in areas with schistosomiasis, also known as snail fever. This disease is caused by tiny, free-swimming parasites that penetrate human skin and cause infection. If you accidentally fall in water in a high-risk area, rapidly towel dry wet skin to decrease chances of infection.
- Avoid exposure to potentially contaminated body fluids. Do not engage in ear piercing, acupuncture or tattooing in foreign countries. Follow safe sex guidelines and recognize that the safest behavior is to avoid intimate contact with strangers. If you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, carry a personal supply of needles and syringes. Do not use illegal intravenous drugs.
- Consult with your insurance company to evaluate coverage during travel. Devise a plan for emergency medical care during travel in the event of an accidental injury or serious illness.
- Request rental cars with seatbelts when available. Avoid riding motorcycles, drinking alcohol while driving, and traveling in overcrowded public vehicles such as buses or taxis. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for travelers.
- Develop a travel attitude. A healthy travel attitude consists of a mixture of adventure, curiosity, respect and patience for other countries and their cultures. Have fun and enjoy your trip.