Influenza! Could be a serious concern for travellers

influenza for travellers

Everyone should be conscientious about protecting themselves against the many strains of flu viruses, but even more so for those who are going to be travelling.  Some forms of flu can be mild and affect people in varying degrees, while other types can lead to the need for hospitalization, and can even result in death.

For travellers especially, one of the most serious types of flu they could come in contact with is the H1N1 flu. The newest form of this flu is highly contagious. It can be easily contracted by a individual touching surfaces which have become contaminated with the virus.

The symptoms that are associated with the H1N1 flu are not unlike those that appear with other types of influenza. It takes a special type of testing to confirm that a person is indeed infected with the H1N1, but these tests are normally only performed by medical personnel who are responsible for confirming that the virus is spreading.

Fortunately for every traveller who is leaving the USA there are some excellent resources available to help them become medically ready for their journey. There are actually well trained physicians who are affiliated with the Travel Clinics of America who specialize in health and travel. By utilizing these services the traveller can be updated as to the current risks regarding influenza that they may be exposed to in respect to their proposed destination.

The pharmaceutical companies are on the brink of producing a vaccine to work against the H1N1, and in fact vaccines for this are in the safety testing process already. While it is expected that this vaccine will be effective against the H1N1, it will not prevent the other seasonal flus so the standard flu vaccine will still be a requirement.

Presently health care professionals are relying on Tamiflu and Relenza as effective treatments against the H1N1 which seems to work well if used as early as possible in the onset of the symptoms.

While H1N1 has been the focus of attention for travellers, there are other flus that are being monitored by the Center for Disease control.  For example, the H7N9 is a new strain of bird flu that has now been detected in birds as well as people in China, but human infections with bird flu viruses is very rare.

By attending a health care provider near you, will mean that you will be brought up to date about the most serious types of influenza that could be of any threat to you on your travels. You will be advised as to the symptoms, the types of treatments available, and resources for medical assistance should you require it at your particular destination.