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Winter Travel Tips: To Near and Far

Winter Travel Tips: To Near and Far

Come the end of the year, millions of people will be traveling to destinations near and far. Whether by plane, train, boat, or automobile, staying healthy is of utmost importance. Here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones healthy during your holiday travel.

 Get a flu shot, if you haven’t already done so. It takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to provide protection, so get vaccinated well before your trip to reduce your risk of catching and spreading the flu. Getting vaccinated now is the best way to protect you and those around you from getting the flu.

 Prepare a travel health kit. Include items that might be helpful if you get sick, such as tissues, pain or fever medicine, soap, and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use in case soap and water are not available.

 Travel only when you feel well. If you have the flu, your healthcare provider may prescribe anti-viral medications to treat it. These drugs can make your flu illness shorter, milder, and reduce the chance of flu complications.

 Take care of yourself during your trip.

·         Avoid close contact with sick people

·         Remember to travel only when you feel well

·         Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow, not your hands

·         Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

 If you’re traveling to a cold climate, special precautions can be taken to prevent injury and illness. Even in mild climates, wind and rain can produce cold-related injuries in temperatures as warm as 50°F.

·         Hypothermia: This happens when your body temperature drops below 95°F. Mild hypothermia can make you feel confused, and you may not think anything is wrong until it is too late. Being too cold can also cloud your judgment and cause you to make mistakes, which can be deadly.

Early symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, feeling tired, being clumsy, and being confused. As your body loses more heat, the shivering may stop, your skin may turn blue, the pupils of your eye may expand, your pulse and breathing may slow, and you may pass out.

·         Frostbite: This happens when a part of the body freezes, which damages tissue. Fingers and toes are most at risk. If the tissue can’t be saved, the body part may need to be amputated (removed).

Warning signs of frostbite include numbness or tingling, stinging, or pain where you are most exposed to the cold. Frostbite is treated by warming the body part in warm water.

·         Tips to protect yourself:

Wear warm clothing in several loose layers

Wear gloves to protect your hands, and a hat or hood to protect your head

Wear waterproof shoes that have good traction in wet conditions

Wear cold-weather gear that does not restrict your movement or block your eyesight

Use safety equipment and gear that will keep you warm and dry when engaging in adventure activities in cold weather or around cold water

 International travel requires special precautions when it comes to your health:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html

Be Proactive:

·         Learn about the health risk of the country or countries you will be visiting. This information can be found at the following CDC websites:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices

·         Find out if your destination is at a higher risk for certain natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or tsunamis

·         Check out the current travel warnings at:

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html

·         Understand the laws and culture of the places you will be visiting:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html

Be Prepared

·         Pack smart:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/pack-smart

·         Plan ahead for illnesses, injuries, or other medical issues:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/plan-ahead

·         What to do if you become sick or injured while traveling:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/sick-during-trip

·         Know and share important information about your trip:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/important-info

Be Protected

·         Pay attention to your health while away:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/health-during-trip

·         Pay attention to your health when you get home

 

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