A pre-travel checkup is a medical examination that is performed when an individual is about to leave for a trip. While this is only an additional precaution for most, there are some cases wherein it is a requirement. Some examples of individuals who should undergo a physical checkup prior to traveling are pregnant women, patients suffering from chronic medical illness, or individuals traveling to countries where there are reported health risks. The checkup is expected to help protect these individuals from contracting a disease while in their destination country.
During the checkup, a physician will assess the patient’s health to determine whether he or she is fit to travel, provide advice on the health risks in the destination country, and provide immunizations if necessary.
Anyone can seek a pre-travel checkup before a trip as a precautionary measure, but for some people, it is a requirement. These include:
Some countries also warrant a physical checkup prior to the trip regardless of how healthy the individual is. These countries are highlighted on an international health risk map that physicians are knowledgeable of, and are categorized into their level of risk.
At the end of the check-up, the patients should be:
A pre-travel checkup is usually initiated by the patient, who is responsible for informing his or her primary healthcare provider about any upcoming travel plans. The checkup typically occurs at the doctor’s clinic, where the physician can also perform a standard physical examination. It may take around an hour.
The checkup begins with the exchange of information regarding the patient’s travel plans. Providing complete information about the trip will allow the doctor to perform an accurate checkup and provide correct medical advice.
The patient should inform the physician about:
Once all pertinent information has been provided, the patient will undergo the standard physical exam. The doctor will then make the necessary prescriptions for medications and immunizations. If necessary, the patient may also request for a certificate that states that he or she is fit to travel, as this may be a requirement for some airline companies especially if the patient has a reported medical condition.
There are many health risks that can affect an individual during a trip. This is because long trips tend to expose the body to unusual conditions, such as:
Not only are these conditions a risk to the patient’s long-term health, but there are also additional and more complex risks involved in becoming ill abroad, such as the lack of readily available medical care and the absence of the patient’s primary physician.
There are also specific health risks in certain countries, such as infections and diseases that are transmitted via food, water, air, skin contact, and other means. Some examples of these diseases are:
These diseases may have serious consequences, and some also progress rapidly and may even lead to fatal results. Thus, it is best to be protected from these diseases as well as the other risks of traveling.
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