Tag Archives: travel

CDC’s ‘Yellow Book’ 2018: A guide to health risks for international travelers

If you’re thinking about taking an international trip, you might want to consult the “Yellow Book.” It’s not a guide to the coolest places to visit or a doorway to travel discounts, but it’s good for your health.

‘Yellow Book’ provides answers

Every two years the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) produces CDC Health Information for Travel, which is more commonly known as the “Yellow Book.” The new Yellow Book 2018 is now available and is useful for answering questions you might have ahead of your international trip.

Although the book is written primarily for health care providers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists) who help travelers prepare for trips, it is also a great source of information for travelers; in addition, it’s used by people in the travel industry, international corporations, missionary and volunteer organizations and others.

Focus is on international travel health risks

The book offers an in-depth look at travel health risks and ways to prevent them, advice for people with special travel health needs, updated vaccine requirements and recommendations, guidance for travelers with special needs, and more. It also offers health insights about popular tourist destinations and itineraries and includes easy-to-read maps, including global disease maps. You can also get the latest information about emerging infectious disease threats such as Zika, Ebola, and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

You can access the book free online. It is also available for purchase through Oxford University Press, other major online booksellers and most major bookstores.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information about the Yellow Book.

Travelers Should Follow Zika Precautions

South Carolinians traveling to areas of the world affected by the Zika virus should protect themselves and their families from Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Zika virus is currently circulating in several areas of the world, including countries and territories in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, the Pacific Islands and Cape Verde. It, along with other viruses, can be acquired from the bite of an infected mosquito.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that pregnant women in particular should not travel to areas with active Zika transmission as the virus may cause serious birth defects. Pregnant women who must travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or other health care professional first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.

“We strongly advise that anyone – especially pregnant women – planning to travel be aware of the countries where Zika virus is circulating,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said. “In addition, travelers should consult with a health care provider and follow recommendations on avoiding mosquito bites to prevent all illnesses carried by mosquitoes.”

If you are traveling to a country where there is active Zika transmission, avoid mosquito bites by wearing EPA-approved repellent, wearing protective clothing and staying in facilities with air conditioning or with good window and door screens whenever possible.

Upon returning to the United States, continue to take steps to prevent mosquito bites for three weeks, even if you don’t feel sick, to prevent possible spread of Zika to uninfected mosquitoes.

Sexual transmission of Zika virus from a male partner is possible, so men who have lived or traveled to areas with Zika and their partners should take special precautions to prevent spreading the virus. Pregnant women should avoid sexual contact with men who have recently been in an area with active Zika transmission or use a condom the right way every time. Women and men with possible exposure to Zika virus but no symptoms of Zika virus disease should wait at least eight weeks after exposure before trying to get pregnant.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 600 travel-related cases of Zika virus in the United States, including one confirmed case in South Carolina as of June 10, 2016. In all of these cases the virus was acquired while traveling to a country where Zika is spreading or sexually transmitted by someone who had acquired the virus while traveling. The virus is not currently known to be carried by mosquitoes in the United States.

Helpful information on travel and pregnancy can be found by viewing the following:

For more information on CDC travel advisories, visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/.

For additional information on Zika, visit www.scdhec.gov/Zika.

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Protect yourself from mosquito bites

By Jennifer Read

Mosquito Prevention

A few days ago DHEC Public Health confirmed the first case of chikungunya virus this year in a South Carolina resident. The case occurred in an Upstate resident who recently returned from a trip to Haiti.

Chikungunya virus, a mosquito-borne illness traditionally found in Africa and Asia, was recently identified in the Caribbean. The symptoms of chikungunya are headache, fever, rash, joint swelling or muscle pain.

So far, the virus has only been identified in the United States in individuals who recently traveled internationally. If you recently traveled to the Caribbean and believe you have been infected by a mosquito-borne illness, you should contact your health care provider.​

Prevent the Bite

To protect yourself and your family from any mosquito-borne illnesses, DHEC Public Health recommends following “the four Ds” to prevent bites:

  1. DEET – Apply insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing when you go outdoors. Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent. Permethrin sprayed on clothing provides protection through several washes. Don’t spray repellent on skin under clothing and don’t use permethrin on skin.
  2. Dress – Cover up. Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants and socks while outdoors to prevent mosquito bites.
  3. Dawn and dusk – Reduce exposure to mosquitoes during the early morning and evening hours when they are most active. It is important to wear repellent at that time.
  4. Drain – Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property where mosquitoes can lay their eggs, including flowerpots, old car tires and pet bowls.

For more information on how to prevent mosquito bites this summer, check out our website.