If your patients are making plans to travel abroad, especially those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, they may contact you for information to remain safe and healthy while abroad. Advance planning is essential as some individuals may need a series of immunizations prior to traveling internationally. Please direct your patients to the Travelers' Health Page provided by the CDC to learn what vaccines are needed to keep individuals and families healthy while traveling abroad.
While your office might not offer the required vaccines for traveling patients, it is important to refer patients to a place where these immunizations are given. Search CDC's "Find a Clinic" or "HealthMap Vaccine Finder" to find a health department or travel clinic in your region that will provide your patients with the vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prior to leaving the country.
Zika Virus Related Travel Health Notices:
Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. Knowledge of the link between Zika and these outcomes is evolving, but until more is known, CDC recommends special precautions for the following groups:
Specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time. As more information becomes available, this travel notice will be updated. Please check back frequently for the most up-to-date recommendations. Travelers can also consult PAHO for a list of Latin American countries with ongoing transmission.
Zika Virus, Alert Level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions, January 15, 2016
Visit the Zika Virus Updates page for more information
While the resources above focus on preparing travelers to leave the United States, the reverse trip is just as important. Infectious diseases know no boundaries, and it is extremely important to ensure that every person has access to safe and timely immunizations. The CDC has extensive resources regarding global immunization activities for providers and patients. They’ve also published reports on various topics such as vaccination coverage in Haiti, research priorities for global measles and rubella, and maternal and child health interventions in Somalia.
The World Health Organization, United Nations Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have partnered to invest in vaccine delivery systems throughout the developing world. Click the links below to learn more about these global partnerships to improve and ensure the health of the global population.