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Travel Medicine

Before you travel to another country take precautions to stay healthy. You should learn what potential health risks you will be exposed to and prepare yourself by learning how to prevent diseases through proper food handling, insect protection and immunizations.

Your immune system has developed to keep you safe in your normal environment. You are probably immune to most colds, flus or other illnesses that are common to your area. However, the viruses and bacteria that cause these diseases are slightly different around the world, leaving you susceptible to possible illnesses.

Depending on where you are traveling, you may also be exposed to dozens of illnesses that are not found in your native country, such as malaria, Chagas disease or African sleeping sickness. Some diseases, such as polio, have been eradicated in certain parts of the world, but are still present in some countries.

In addition, the conditions of different countries allow disease to spread more easily. Poor food handling or lack of water filtration could allow contamination. A high population of insects, such as mosquitoes, also allows disease to spread quickly from person to person.

You should make an appointment with an infectious diseases physician at least eight weeks before you travel abroad in order to ensure you have time to get any immunizations you may need. 

Indiana University Health specialists prepare world travelers for their journeys by providing vaccinations and education on staying well. Through focused education and extensive training, our physicians have expertise in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases around the globe. Our physicians stay up-to-date with the latest vaccine and travel health recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) so you receive all vaccinations you need. From sanitizing water, to cooking safely, to preventing insect bites, we will work with you to protect your health so you can travel safely.

You should schedule an appointment with an infectious diseases physician eight weeks before you travel and bring your medical history, immunization records and trip itinerary with you. Your itinerary is especially important as it allows us to make specific, personalized recommendations based on the countries you are visiting. During your visit, you can receive the suggested immunizations, prescriptions for medications to help prevent malaria and diarrhea and documentation of all immunizations you receive. We continue to support you as you travel and are available by secure email to offer advice. When you return from your travels, we can also offer post-travel consultations to diagnose any unusual conditions and ensure you are well.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Travel Medicine Treatment Information

IU Health Infectious Diseases physicians offer a range of services to prepare travelers.

Travel Medicine Locations & Physicians

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Travel Medicine Support Services

Keep your family safe when travelling by following the health tips at the website below.