Travelling? Do this first
Nothing like a little blast of heat and sun to take the edge off of the cold months. How about a nice spring break trip?
Before you hit the road or air, just make sure you're travel healthy.
Dr. Danielle Osterholzer, Hurley infectious disease specialist, has one key suggestion, "You definitely don't want to go on vacation and be sick. so you know, it's definitely of benefit to go to the doctor and find out what you may need."
Where ever you are headed, you can learn about your risk for everything from the flu to Zika virus, by visiting the CDC's travel advisory website.
"You can put in the country that you're going to, and it will kind of tell you the risk," Dr. Osterholzer says.
One illness you do not want to bring home is Hepatitis A. It spreads through contaminated food or water.
There is no treatment for Hepatitis A but, Dr. Osterholzer says, you can prevent it, "If they're going to Mexico, the Caribbean, most countries carry Hepatitis A, so that is a vaccination we recommend for people that are travelling to developing countries."
There aren't vaccines for every bug you might be exposed to in a foreign country, but there are other steps you can take to prevent some dread diseases, "If someone's going to an area where there is malaria, take malaria prophylaxys," Dr. Osterholzer says, "And, that would be an antibiotic they would take usually before they go, while they are there, and when they get home."
Mosquitoes carry malaria. They can also carry Zika virus, which is a risk in tropical countries, and in Florida.
You can't take a pill to prevent Zika, "Many of the illnesses, there is no vaccination. There is no vaccination for Zika virus, for dengue virus, for many others that you can get from mosquito bites.
Which means, you need to toss some high efficacy mosquito repellent in your suitcase. Put it next to your sunscreen- SPF30 or higher.
Dr. Osterholzer says you should also make sure you don't forget to pack your prescription and over the counter drugs, "Have them with them, they have an adequate supply, to last throughout the time they're on their vacation."
For all of the things you cannot buy over the counter, make sure you see a doctor, well before your vacation.
"You don't want to wait until the last minute," Osterholzer says, "You might have trouble finding the vaccination. It might take time for the vaccine to kick in. "
Fnally, check your health insurance policy and see what it covers when you are out of the country.