As the world becomes a “global village,” more travel from the U.S. to developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America is increasing the number of people at risk for a variety of infectious diseases. As a precaution, Tufts Medical Center Community Care offers the Traveler’s Health Service. Here, an infectious diseases specialist provides a comprehensive service with individualized counseling on necessary precautions, immunizations, medications, and medical care for travel-related illnesses.
After a visit to the Tufts Medical Center Community Care specialist, travelers are armed with the latest information from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about emerging and well-known disease agents worldwide. A visit to the Traveler’s Health Service can substantially reduce the risk of contracting diseases or illnesses, which may be prevented with advance immunization, preventive medicine and education.
Immunizations available are:
- Typhoid fever
- Hepatitis A & B
- Yellow fever
- JEV (Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine)
- Chicken pox
- Tetanus, diphtheria
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Pertussis Vaccine
Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs to visit the Traveler’s Health Service?
Travelers who journey to a developing country can benefit from preventive medical services, especially those who:
- Intend to spend more than a few weeks,
- Enter remote areas,
- Have contact with animals, or
- Provide humanitarian relief or clinical care.
Our infectious disease specialist has specific expertise in advising those who are planning international adoption, adults accompanied by children or infants, people returning to foreign countries to visit family, people with underlying medical conditions or allergies, and anyone leaving the United States to conduct scientific research.
When do I need to plan for travel services?
When anticipating an international trip, it is important to plan ahead for preventive medical services. Six to eight weeks before departure is the best time to schedule an initial appointment. An in-depth interview will take place and appropriate vaccinations and medications will be given. Allowing this lead-time provides sufficient opportunity for follow-up vaccines, as a course of two or three appointments is necessary for certain immunizations. Travelers with less lead time may not be accommodated.
What if I get sick when abroad or after I return?
Pre-travel counseling at the Traveler’s Health Service includes a referral service to outpatient health facilities that provide up-to-date medical care in many countries in the developing world. In addition, our physician can provide follow-up medical consultation via phone, fax or e-mail, for those who have used our service giving extra security in circumstances of illness or trauma far away from home.
Travelers who are sick upon return will receive comprehensive medical care from a specialist in infectious diseases. Patient visits are arranged on either an urgent or routine basis, depending on the medical issue.
What countries require immunizations and preventive medications?
A visit to the Traveler’s Health Service is strongly recommended when going to most countries in:
- South East Asia
- Central and South America
Immunizations and prophylactic medicines may also be needed when traveling to parts of Mexico, Russia, Southern and Eastern Europe, or the Far East.
The Traveler’s Health Service sends your personal physician a letter describing your treatment, if requested.
Fees & Payments
It is the patient’s responsibility to contact his or her insurance provider, but generally, health insurance does not cover the cost of treatment. Fees are $100 per visit and vaccinations range from $70 to $300 each depending on the complexity of the traveler’s needs. Patients will be billed and payment is accepted by check, Visa or MasterCard.
What to do prior to your appointment
- Check with your pediatrician on the vaccines already received/bring a copy of your records.
- Check with your health insurance company to confirm if you have coverage for travel immunizations.
- Request a referral from your primary care physician.