Before You Pack Your Bags for Vacation, Visit a Travel Clinic

Our expert tells you how to avoid getting sick in a foreign country.

Travel Clinic; Lori Hart

If your travel plans include a foreign destination for work, leisure or volunteering, check out these tips from nurse practitioner Lori Hart of the Fairview International Travel Clinic – Uptown.

Why do I need to go to a travel clinic?

We create an individualized plan for you based on your itinerary, health history and immunization guidelines and requirements. We also prescribe medications needed for your destination, as well as discuss precautions for health concerns and personal safety. For example, for destinations like Machu Picchu or trekking in Nepal, I can provide insights on preparing for high altitudes and recognizing the signs of altitude sickness. 

How do I find out which shots I need for my trip?

Each country’s requirements are different and they change over time. The best way to know what you need is to make an appointment at the travel clinic and provide us with your full travel itinerary. We offer 20+ vaccines at our clinic, and we’re one of only eight locations in Minnesota to provide the Yellow Fever vaccine.

I’m going to an all-inclusive resort, not adventuring. Do I really need to check in with a travel clinic?

There are no vaccines for mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and Zika virus, which are still a concern at many popular destinations. We can discuss ways to avoid contracting these and other diseases and early symptoms to watch for after travel. Most travelers who require medical attention during or after a trip are those who didn’t visit a travel clinic prior to departure.

We cover foods to avoid, travelers’ diarrhea, political unrest and availability of health care in the area. If you have a MyChart account, we can even check in with you during your trip.

Can't I get this information from my regular doctor?

Practitioners of travel medicine are highly specialized. We have access to tools that assist us in reviewing requirements and making recommendations for you. If your primary care provider doesn’t specialize in travel medicine, they won’t have these tools. They may not even have the immunizations you need on site.

Are travel clinic visits and immunizations covered by insurance?

Sometimes immunizations and consultations required for foreign travel are not covered by insurance, so I recommend checking with your plan prior to scheduling your visit. To help with that, we have a list of travel vaccines on our website.

When is the best time to connect with a travel clinic?

I prefer to check in with my patients four to six weeks prior to their departure date for the timeliest recommendations. Some vaccinations or medications need to be taken several weeks before travel. If you are out of that window, don't worry. We will work through your options for getting you what you need to get on your plane! 

Call 612-827-4751 for your travel clinic appointment in Uptown Minneapolis or 952-997-4100 for Apple Valley.

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