Influenza is common globally, and it is a contagious respiratory virus spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing. Individual symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, and tiredness. Young children, elderly, and people with chronic health conditions are at risk for serious complications that include: pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, worsening of chronic medical conditions, and death. The flu season lasts from October through May in the Northern Hemisphere and from April through September in the Southern Hemisphere. In the tropical countries, flu season can be spread year-round. Travelers in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres can be exposed to influenza outside of the months listed above, especially when traveling with a tourist group or on a cruise ship that includes people worldwide where influenza viruses are prevalent.
What can travelers do to prevent the flu?
- Get an annual flu vaccine
- People who have not been vaccinated for the current season and are traveling abroad where influenza is prevalent should be vaccinated two weeks prior to traveling for immunity to develop
- Stop the spread of germs
- Avoid contact with other people while you are sick
- Wash your hands and use alcohol hand sanitizers
- If you feel sick and think you may have the flu, talk to your physician and discuss your travel plans
- If you have influenza, administer antiviral drugs
ANTIVIRALS DIFFER FROM ANTIBIOTICS!
To learn how Going Home Medical can help you prepare a medical travel plan, please visit: www.goinghomemedical.com.