Sunday, July 29, 2007

CDC Offers Travelers' Health Guide

(HealthDay News) -- Wearing a seat belt while driving in foreign countries and getting the necessary immunizations are among the recommendations in the revised Yellow Book, the biennial travelers' health guidebook available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The newest edition -- which includes an expanded section on life-threatening blood clots that can develop after sitting for hours on a plane -- is now available.

"More than 63 million Americans travel abroad each year. This book can help prepare travelers for their trips, or help them learn how to stay safe and healthy while overseas," Dr. Christie Reed, team leader for the CDC traveler's health group, said in a prepared statement.

Injuries and auto accidents pose the greatest risk to travelers, according to the CDC, so the book emphasizes wearing seat belts while driving in foreign countries.

The Yellow Book also addresses deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which blood clots form deep in the veins of the leg because of poor circulation. This is a risk for people who spend long hours in planes. Travelers are advised to make an effort to stretch their arms and legs out during international flights.

For the 10 million people who take cruises every year, there is advice on protecting against norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal illness, and motion sickness.

"The Yellow Book serves as the gold standard of travel health recommendations. We want travelers, health-care providers and those in the travel industry to have the best information and health care recommendations for traveling abroad," said Reed.

The book breaks down into nine chapters, including chapters on the major risks for travelers by region, planning for health issues during and after travel, preparing for yellow fever and malaria exposure, preventing and treating common infectious diseases, managing noninfectious risks such as jet lag and injuries, and traveling internationally with children. There is also a chapter for travelers with special needs.

More information
To access the Yellow Book and to learn about travelers' health, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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