Do you have plans to travel overseas this summer? You’re undoubtedly excited to study abroad, visit friends or family, or aid in disaster recovery. In addition to securing a passport and making travel arrangements, you must also get vaccinated. Most life-threatening communicable diseases have effective vaccines that can protect your health during your travels. Consider the most common travel vaccinations that American tourists should receive.
All travelers should be up-to-date with routine vaccines before traveling. Diseases such as polio, measles, tetanus and rubella are all but extinct in the United States, but they are still common in other countries. For your safety, make sure anyone traveling abroad in your family has received all the routine vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Common Travel Vaccines
The specific vaccinations you seek will depend on where you’re headed. In addition to routine vaccines, be sure to protect yourself against the following diseases, especially if you’re traveling to Africa, Latin America or Asia:
- Hepatitis A: Contaminated food or water can carry hepatitis A, so this vaccine is recommended for travelers headed to rural communities or unsanitary places.
- Typhoid: This disease affects over 12 million people per year. It’s also transmitted through contaminated food or water, so protect yourself with a typhoid vaccine.
- Yellow fever: South America and Africa are the most likely places to contract yellow fever, which is spread through mosquito bites. Fortunately, vaccines are available, which provide up to 10 years of protection.
- Malaria: This disease is also transmitted through mosquito bites. While there’s no malaria vaccine, you can ask your doctor for prescription medication to protect you during your trip.
Less Common Travel Vaccines
While not recommended for all travelers or destinations, you should ask your doctor if you need any additional travel vaccines to protect you on your trip. These may include:
- Cholera: The CDC recommends a cholera vaccine for adults traveling to places with active cholera transmission, including India, Bangladesh, Yemen, Haiti and several African countries.
- Hepatitis B: You may need a hepatitis B vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a piercing or tattoo, or have medical procedures performed during your travels.
- Rabies: Get a rabies vaccine if you expect to have an elevated risk for animal bites on your trip. Such groups include campers and people working with animals.
- Meningitis: A meningitis vaccination is recommended if you’re planning to visit sub-Saharan Africa (known as the “meningitis belt”) between December and June when the disease is most common.
Check the CDC
The CDC keeps travelers up-to-date with current travel health notices, as well as travel vaccination recommendations by region. Check these resources before going on your trip to ensure you get the right travel vaccinations to safeguard your health.
The weather is warming up, and that means it’s time to lounge on the beach or by the pool! Before you do, you might want to snag a great deal on a new swimsuit that accentuates your body in all the right ways. This means trying on new swimwear to find the perfect look.
Swimsuit shopping might have you wondering – “Can I get an STD from trying on swimsuits?” Not all sexually transmitted diseases can be spread to a new host this way – after all, the bacteria and viruses that cause many types of STDs don’t survive for long outside the human body and require direct contact to transfer from person to person.
However, some STDs and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are caused by protozoa, lice, bacteria and viruses that can survive on new swimsuits. This allows infections to transmit passively from one host to another.
It’s a scary thought, but you can protect yourself by learning more about STDs and swimsuits.
Examples of STIs Sometimes Found on Swimsuits
The following STIs can spread passively by infecting swimsuit bottoms:
- Trichomoniasis , or trich, is caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis protozoan parasite, which can live outside the body for several hours.
- Pubic lice , or crabs, can spread if an infected person shares towels, bed sheets or swimsuits.
- Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that spreads through direct contact and indirect contact with clothing an infected person has worn.
- Bacterial vaginosis , or BV, is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina. BV loves synthetic swimsuit fibers and can be difficult to wash out.
- Urinary tract infections are caused when E. coli or other bacteria from the anal region enter the urethra.
While uncommon, it’s also possible to transmit more serious STDs, including Hepatitis A, B and C, Chlamydia, HPV and even HIV in extremely rare cases.
Prevent STD Infection While Trying on Swimsuits
Protect yourself in the dressing room and once you get home by following these tips:
- Don’t trust the hygienic liner – keep your underwear on while trying new swimsuits!
- Wash your hands after trying on swimsuits.
- After making your purchase, wash the swimsuit before wearing it to the pool.
- Keep whatever you’ve got to yourself – don’t return used swimwear.
STD Testing in Atlanta, GA
The truth is there’s a slight chance of contracting an STD while trying on swimsuits, but only if you fail to follow the appropriate precautions. Just remember, this is merely one example of how STDs can be transmitted without having sex.
If you or your partner is concerned you may have an STD, visit Perimeter Clinic for help. We offer STD testing in a clean, confidential setting. The entire process takes just 15 to 20 minutes, and most results are available within one to two days. To make an appointment and protect your health, please contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 today.
Has your family physician in Atlanta advised you to schedule a cervical cancer screening? If so, then you may have questions about the need for this procedure. Cervical cancer is already invasive by the time a woman experiences any symptoms, such as heavy or prolonged periods, pain during sex, and abnormal bleeding between periods, during menopause, or after sex. It’s for this reason that it’s sometimes referred to as a “silent killer” and why regular screenings are so important.
The 2 primary methods of screening for cervical cancer include liquid-based cytology (LBC) and the Papanicolaou (Pap) test, also known as a cervical smear or Pap smear. During an LBC screening, the doctor scrapes the cervix with a small brush, and the collected cells are then analyzed for abnormalities in a lab. Pap smears involve scraping the outer opening of the cervix to collect cells which are analyzed for abnormalities under a microscope. Most women between ages 21 and 65 are advised to undergo a cervical cancer screening once every 3 years. If you are overdue for a cervical cancer screening, then consider contacting your local clinic to make an appointment and help protect your health.
Summer is the season of travel, and for many people, this means trips to other countries. Vacations like these offer opportunities to experience other cultures, but they’re also a way to contract local diseases, depending on your destination. If you’re planning to travel internationally this summer, then continue reading to learn what health precautions you should take and the importance of visiting your local travel clinic in Atlanta beforehand.
Check Travel Notices
One of the first steps that you should take when preparing for international travel is to look at the current CDC travel notices , which will alert you to what areas of the world are considered high-risk for disease and which diseases. Non-essential travel to any locations that have a Warning Level 3 should be avoided, due to the high risk to travelers. For Alert Level 2 regions, travelers should practice enhanced precautions, and usual precautions should be followed if you’re traveling to a Watch Level 1 area.
Recognize Health Concerns
Depending on what country or countries you’re planning to visit, certain immunizations may be considered standard for travelers. Your doctor can inform you of which immunizations you should consider, but some of the most common ones recommended for American travelers going out of the country include those for malaria, yellow fever, typhoid, and hepatitis A.
Schedule an Appointment
After determining what health issues you should be concerned about in your destination of choice, you should consider scheduling an appointment at a clinic that offers immunizations for travel. This precaution isn’t one that you should delay because many immunizations require several weeks before they take effect. Ideally, schedule your clinic appointment 6 to 8 weeks before you plan to leave or as soon as you have your travel itinerary. Finally, keep your immunization records with you while you travel in case you need to show them to local authorities or require medical care while you’re out of the country.
Perimeter Clinic is a primary care and urgent care center in Atlanta that offers primary immediate care and travel medicine services. Planning to help ensure your good health should be an important consideration when traveling, and we provide information, immunizations for travel , and consultations to help international travelers protect their health. Furthermore, we offer an Executive Service, which includes group medical consultations, security briefings, seminars, and travel crisis management.
If you’re in need of executive travel medicine services, then there are a few things that you should consider. First, some of the most common diseases that your group may benefit from being vaccinated against include hepatitis A, typhoid, and yellow fever. Also, you should plan to receive travel medicine soon after you book your trip or 6 to 8 weeks before you plan to leave. Perimeter Clinic offers travel medicine consultations, which is important for ensuring that your group receives the proper vaccinations, and you’ll also be provided with immunization records so you can present them to local authorities while you travel, if necessary. Finally, Perimeter Clinic files insurance for all vaccines besides yellow fever and typhoid. For more information about our executive travel medicine services, please visit our website.
As the weather heats up, many people look forward to spending more time in the sun and outdoors while lounging at the beach, hiking local trails, and playing their favorite sports. While getting outdoors and staying active can be good for your health, your doctor near Atlanta will tell you that knowing how to recognize and handle heat exhaustion is important for staying safe in the summer. Continue reading to learn about dealing with heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats, and it’s a condition that’s more severe than heat cramps but milder than heatstroke. The symptoms and signs of heat exhaustion can come on suddenly or develop over time, especially if you’re exercising for an extended period. If you’re suffering from heat exhaustion, then you may experience headache, nausea, muscle cramps, faintness, heavy sweating, fatigue, or dizziness. Other signs and symptoms include low blood pressure as you stand up, a weak and rapid pulse, and moist, cool skin with goosebumps, despite being in the heat.
Most cases of heat exhaustion can be addressed without a trip to a doctor or urgent care. Start by resting with your legs elevated above your heart while in a cool location, ideally in a building with air conditioning. Also, hydrate your body with sports drinks or water while avoiding anything with alcohol. You should also remove any unnecessary clothing and soak in a cool bath or take a cool shower if you can. If your symptoms do not improve within 1 hour, head to a clinic or seek medical attention right away.
Luckily, heat exhaustion is very preventable. When the weather gets hot, remember to drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated, wear loose-fitting clothing that is light-colored and lightweight, and seek cooler areas if you begin to feel any symptoms of heat exhaustion. You should also protect your skin from sunburn, avoid particularly hot areas, and let your body become acclimated to the heat if temperatures suddenly rise or if you’re traveling somewhere hot this summer.
Strep throat is a common problem treated in clinics and urgent care centers in Atlanta . This infection is more severe than a typical sore throat, and it tends to develop quickly and affect children more often than adults. Watch this video to learn more about strep throat.
Some of the symptoms associated with this condition include fever, severe pain with swallowing, red and swollen tonsils, loss of appetite and nausea, and patches of red or white in the throat. Your family physician or urgent care doctor can test you for the strep bacteria by swabbing your throat. If you have strep, then your doctor may prescribe antibiotics that can help you feel better within a couple of days. Also, be sure to get lots of rest, stay hydrated, and eat soups and soft foods to help speed your recovery.
There are some health conditions that only affect women, and regular visits to a clinic can be important for ensuring feminine wellness . If you’re scheduled for an annual well woman exam at your local medical center near Atlanta, then watch this video to learn what you can expect during your clinic appointment.
Your doctor will use an instrument called a speculum to perform the exam, and vaginal and cervical swabs, which look like long Q-Tips, and a cervical brush will be used to collect samples from the vaginal wall and the cervix. You will undress from the waist down and cover yourself with a blanket for the exam, and then lie on your back on the exam table with your feet in stirrups. Finally, remember to breathe and relax while the exam is performed.
Have you been suffering from watery eyes, sneezing, or hives? If so, then you may be affected by allergies, for which your primary care physician in Atlanta may recommend allergy skin testing. Keep reading to learn about this type of test and what you can expect.
Why It’s Done
One of the most important steps toward managing your allergies is understanding what’s causing them. It’s for this reason that doctors often advise their patients to take an allergy skin test. Skin testing allows your doctor to test you for many different allergens in a single clinic appointment.
How It Works
Allergy skin testing uses concentrated, liquid forms of some of the most common allergens, such as animal dander, mold, pollen, dust mites, and some foods. When these allergens get under your skin, they may trigger a rash that causes it to itch and become irritated. This process happens when you’re exposed to something that you’re allergic to, and your immune system produces antibodies and chemicals that attempt to fight off the aggravating substance. It’s this reaction that informs your doctor that you’re allergic to a particular allergen.
What to Expect
There are 3 primary types of allergy skin tests. During the first, called a scratch test, a nurse or doctor will clean your skin with alcohol, label different areas of your skin with a pen, and then place a drop of each allergen extract on your skin according to the labels. Then, your skin is gently scratched to let the allergen through the skin’s outer layer. Intradermal allergy skin testing involves injecting a small amount of a suspected allergen slightly under the skin. Finally, a patch test may be performed, which involves wearing a patch with the allergen on your back or arm.
When You’ll Get Your Results
Scratch and intradermal tests are usually completed in a one-hour clinic appointment, during which your doctor can inform you of what allergens your skin reacted to. Patch tests typically take about 48 hours and are often used to test for delayed reactions.
Doctors near Atlanta who offer STD testing and treatment see a broad range of sexually transmitted diseases, and one of the less common ones is called chancroid. Continue reading to learn about this condition’s causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Chancroid is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that’s caused by the Haemophilus ducreyi bacteria. This disease isn’t diagnosed too often in STD testing clinics in the United States, but it’s more commonly seen in Africa and Southwest Asia. Most people who receive this diagnosis in the US have traveled to areas where chancroid is more common.
After becoming infected with chancroid, a person will develop a small bump on his or her genitals in 1 day to 2 weeks. Within a day after the bump first appears, it will progress to an ulcer that can be 1/8” to 2” in diameter. This ulcer is soft, painful, has sharply defined borders, and has a base that bleeds easily and is covered by a gray or yellow-gray material. Men often have just 1 ulcer, while women tend to have 4 or more. In men, common locations for the ulcer include the scrotum, foreskin, and head, opening, or shaft of the penis. In women, the labia majora are the most common locations for the chancroid ulcers, but they can also develop on the labia minora, the perineal area, or on the inner thighs.
To diagnose chancroid, your doctor will examine the ulcer or ulcers, check your lymph nodes for swelling, and perform STD testing to rule out other possible diseases because there is no blood test available for chancroid. If you’re diagnosed with a chancroid infection, then you will be prescribed an antibiotic. Also, any swollen lymph nodes may need to be drained using a syringe or local surgery. It’s possible for chancroid to resolve on its own, but treatment with antibiotics can help the lesions heal more quickly and reduce scarring.
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