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Health

What if sick while traveling

Dr. Nina Lundberg, an internal medicine physician with Edward Medical Group, says prevention should be top of mind when you’re traveling (and even before you go).
Dr. Nina Lundberg, an internal medicine physician with Edward Medical Group, says prevention should be top of mind when you’re traveling (and even before you go).

NAPERVILLE – If there was a top 10 list of places you would not want to get sick, “on vacation” would rank pretty high.

“You’re away from home, likely in an unfamiliar place. Maybe you’re in pain and you don’t know whether you should find a doctor or tough it out. It can be a vague, difficult decision to make,” Dr Nina Lundberg, an internal medicine physician with Edward Medical Group, said in a news release.

Prevention should be top of mind when you’re traveling (and even before you go). These tips will help you figure out what to do and keep you feeling well:

• Don’t forget to bring your insurance card on your trip. You may need it. If you take medication, write down what each medication is and keep it with your card.

• Plan ahead. For instance: Going on a cruise? Bring remedies for seasickness, just in case. Bring a small first aid kit with ibuprofen, diarrhea medicine, an antihistamine, tweezers and antiseptic. Get prescriptions refilled before you go.

• Call or email your doctor for medical advice. Talk to a nurse in the doctor’s office. Find out whether they think your situation is serious enough to warrant medical attention.

• Ask for a referral. If you need to see a doctor, ask your insurance company to point you toward a local provider. You could also ask your hotel concierge for a recommendation. Knowing where to go, if needed, could save you a lot of money (and, possibly, your life). Our Levels of Care guide, www.eehealth.org/-/media/files/edward-elmhurst/services/emergency/eehealth-er-ic-wic-flyer.pdf?la=en, breaks down where to go locally for health concerns, but this chart could work as a general guide in other locations as well.

• If you’re planning to travel abroad, schedule an appointment with the Edward-Elmhurst Health Travel Medicine Clinic, www.eehealth.org/services/travel-medicine, at least six weeks before your trip. Based on your destination and your specific needs, the clinic can recommend and coordinate any vaccines or prescriptions you may need.

• Wash and sanitize your hands thoroughly and often.

• Drink plenty of water.

• If you undergo medical treatment while you’re away, follow up with your primary care physician when you return.

For tips, visit www.EEHealth.org/blog.

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