A mother and daughter explore the outdoors.
Preventive Care

Summer Travel Safety Tips

Have travel plans this summer? Whether it’s a family outing, or a solo trip somewhere new, it’s critical to protect your health before and during any adventure. This year, there are a variety of spreading viruses and infections that experts warn to keep an eye on. Here’s how to take simple safety precautions so you can focus on having fun. 

Before Traveling

Prior to leaving, there are a few steps you should take to make sure illnesses won’t derail your trip:

  1. Stay Informed — Check travel advisories and updates from reputable sources like the CDC or WHO. There may be disease outbreaks at your destination that aren’t common in the United States.
  2. Talk with Your Doctor — Schedule an appointment with your health care provider at least one month prior to your departure to obtain destination-specific vaccines, medicines, and advice. 
  3. Get Vaccinated — Ensure you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations such as mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, varicella, polio, and yearly influenza. Depending on your travel plans, you may also need specific vaccines such as measles, hepatitis A/B, typhoid, and yellow fever.
  4. Build a Health Kit When packing, add wellness supplies including prescription medications, over the counter drugs, hand sanitizer, masks, and a travel-sized first aid kit. If you’ll be spending time outdoors, don’t forget proper insect repellent. Ask your doctor about Malaria prophylaxis pills if traveling to a high-risk area.
A woman wears a mask at the airport.

While Traveling

No matter your destination, it’s essential to protect your health against common or spreading infections such as:

Bird Flu

  • Do not visit poultry farms, bird markets, or other areas where birds are present.
  • Whenever possible, avoid direct contact with wild birds and other animals. It is better to observethem from a distance. Wild birds can carry bird flu (Avian Influenza) without appearing sick.
  • Avoid unprotected contact with sick or dead domestic birds.
  • Do not touch surfaces contaminated by saliva, mucous, feces, raw milk, litter, or other materials from birds or animals.
  • Consume well-cooked poultry and eggs and avoid raw or undercooked bird products.
  • Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer.

Measles (Rubeola)

  • Ensure you have received the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella). Typically, two doses are needed for full protection. 
  •  Monitor for measles outbreaks and avoid affected areas if possible. For the latest information, click here.
  • Be aware of measles symptoms such as high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and rash. Seek medical attention right away if you or a travel companion begin showing these warning signs.

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Avoid spending extended periods in crowded, enclosed environments where TB transmission is more likely. 
  • Distance yourself from people who are coughing and/or appear sick.
  • Schedule a TB screening before and after your trip if traveling to high-risk areas and again 8-10 weeks after returning. Be sure to use the same type of test pre- and post-travel.
  • Wear a mask when in crowded, indoor spaces in areas of high risk.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation in lodging accommodations.
  • Use these precautions at home, too. TB cases are currently rising in Los Angeles County.

COVID-19 (Omicron FLiRT Variants)

  • Stay updated on your COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.
  • If flying, consider traveling with:
    • Well-fitting masks or respirators.
    • Hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol or more.
    • Rapid antigen tests.
  • Use masks in crowded or enclosed public spaces and maintain a safe distance from others when possible.
  • Watch for COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste or smell) and get tested if they develop. Right now, 50% of Los Angeles County coronavirus cases are linked to new strains classified as “FLiRT” variants. These are subvariants of the Omicron variant that surged across the U.S. in 2021

General Hygiene and Health Practices

Regardless of destination, the below tips will help keep you and your family safe from viruses and other health risks:

  • Regularly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If access to soap and water will be limited, use hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Drink purified water. Staying hydrated is essential to protecting your overall health. 
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, and light clothing, especially in hot weather regions, to avoid heat illness.
  • Eat at reputable establishments to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.
  • Learn the local emergency number and research local health care facilities.

Peace of Mind, All Year ‘Round

AltaMed is here to help you live life worry-free. Whether you’re planning an adventure, or just need routine care, our team of providers and specialists are here to help. Best of all, comprehensive services are available to the whole family, so you can save time and watch your loved ones grow healthy. 

Get started by clicking here or calling (888) 499-9303.

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Summer Travel Safety Tips