Traveling Safely as an Immunocompromised Individual
Traveling has always come with its share of unpredictability. After the emergence of the Coronavirus in 2019, traveling has become more uncertain for everyone, especially immunocompromised individuals. By staying vigilant and consulting with your doctor before traveling, you can keep yourself and those around you safe on your vacation.
What Is the Definition of Immunocompromised?
The CDC defines an immunocompromised individual as someone with a diminished immune system due to a medical condition or treatment. Some examples of immunocompromised individuals include:
- Individuals with cancer or undergoing treatment for cancer.
- Patients who have recently received a transplant such as a kidney or heart and are on medication.
- People taking long-term medication such as corticosteroids, which can weaken the immune system.
- Individuals with weakened immune systems due to genetic or other chronic conditions.
Before You Travel
To ensure your trip is as safe as possible, there are several actions you can take to protect yourself and others before beginning your journey. Here are some of the CDC guidelines for immunocompromised travel you can follow to prepare for a safe and healthy trip.
Meet With Your Health Care Provider
Before traveling, meet with your health care provider at least one month before your trip. Your doctor can assist with providing destination-specific vaccines, medicines and other CDC travel warnings. You can also discuss specific health concerns and your itinerary to receive health recommendations.
Make Sure You Are up to Date on All Vaccinations
Ensuring you have all of your routine vaccinations can protect you from many infectious diseases that can quickly spread in large groups of people, such as measles. Some things to keep in mind when discussing vaccinations with your doctor include:
- Most diseases that are easily preventable through vaccinations are common in countries outside of the United States.
- Many vaccines are less effective for immunocompromised individuals.
- Vaccines containing live viruses such as MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) may not be safe for immunocompromised individuals. Make sure you talk to your health care provider about alternative ways to protect yourself from these diseases. If you are traveling to a country that requires travelers to receive live vaccines, you can discuss the possibility of a medical waiver with your provider.
Look Into Travel Protection
One of the best ways to stay safe abroad is by investing in travel protection services. At REVA, we are proud to keep our clients safe with our air ambulance services.
If you experience a medical emergency, one phone call to REVA will ensure you receive transportation from your bedside to our fleet and expert care as we bring you home or to the medical facility of your choice. We provide 24/7 year-round services for clients traveling domestically or abroad, making us a reliable option for all your medical needs.
While you travel, there are also specific steps you can take to protect yourself from many common diseases.
Wash Your Hands
Frequently washing your hands is the best way to remove germs and prevent getting sick. If soap and water are not readily available, you can also use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Choose Safe Food and Drink
Contaminated food can cause diseases such as diarrhea, quickly disrupting your travel. Hot foods are generally safe, as well as dry and packaged foods and bottled, canned or hot drinks.
Protect Yourself From the Sun
You can still receive a sunburn in cloudy weather, making it essential to wear sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher. Wearing sunscreen is especially important when traveling in the summer or near the equator.
Travel With Greater Peace of Mind With REVA
Traveling as an immunocompromised individual can cause some worry as you navigate large crowds and various medical concerns. One of the best ways to ensure you are safe and have greater peace of mind is by investing in medical transport services from REVA. As part of our commitment to our clients, we offer a range of services, including:
- Medical evacuation and repatriation
- Medical escort
- Private charter
- Domestic air ambulance
- International air ambulance
Complete our contact form to request a quote and learn more about our compassionate and comprehensive medical escort services.