For a lot of people, this holiday weekend is just a preview of travel plans around year’s end. Besides the tickets and motel rooms, you’d better plan ahead for that trip, especially if it’s out of the country. Dr. Michael Sutcliffe is a family physician in central Iowa who says there’s always the risk of diarrhea and a doctor can send antibiotics along but you must remember not to drink local water, even made into ice cubes. Doctor Sutcliffe says the farther you travel, the greater the planning needed to keep you safe and healthy. He says six months ahead of time you need some vaccinations, and the family doctor can tell you which ones, from Hepatitis “A” to typhoid depending on where in the world you’re going. You’ll need prescription eyeglasses as well as medications, since people have trouble filling prescriptions even when they’ve only traveled to a different state. The doctor says we haven’t yet reached the day when pharmacies anywhere can tap into your medical and prescription records, and that could put you at risk. If you’re elderly and have a lot of medical problems, it’s a good idea to print and take along a list of your conditions and medications…and he suggests an “Epi-pen.” That small device to inject anti-allergy medication could save the life of a person bit by a bee or snake, and can be self-administered. Another two dozen people late this week got sick aboard a Disney Cruise ship, and hundreds have found trips cut short recent weeks by outbreaks of illness.
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