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Infectious Disease

Travel Illnesses

Geisinger’s travel medicine experts continually monitor infectious diseases and their treatment effectiveness, especially for those going to South America, Southeast Asia and Africa.

Our specialists conduct a medical history to ensure that immunizations are up to date. Certain childhood vaccines are now recommended for adults to boost protection.

Did you know that malaria, a disease borne by mosquitoes in tropical countries, is on the increase among travelers returning to the United States. This is partly because of increased travel to tropical locales and, more important, the fact that mosquitoes have developed resistance to DDT (sprayed to keep the insect population down) and chloroquine, the original prophylaxis for malaria. There are now newer medications for malaria to help prevent you from contracting the illness.

Traveler’s diarrhea is the most common illness a tourist might encounter, especially in Southeast Asia, South and Central America, Mexico, and Africa. Water supplies in these areas are particularly risky. Traveler’s diarrhea is caused by a bacteria, virus or parasite. It’s best to drink bottled water and talk with our specialists about foods that are relatively safe, and about how to recognize signs of more serious disease.