Health Plus: Travel Medicine - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Travel Medicine

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

From church mission trips to anniversary cruises, travel abroad is common these days. And so is exposure to deadly disease overseas.

That's where travel medicine comes in.

Mary Jo Kavalier works in healthcare, so she takes a pro-active approach to staying healthy abroad.

"There's some really unhealthy situations with open sewers and things like that, so I was really glad we had our immunizations," said Kavalier.

From New Delhi, India to Italy and France, she's had her passport stamped a few times. She's taken a few steps to protect herself thanks to Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare's Occupational Medicine and Wellness.

"The disease and knowing what the chances are and the conditions were very different. Not being able to drink the water, my husband was really concerned about it. So having the travel medicine, the ability to kind of talk through what are the issues and concerns. We got good information, got the antibiotics and knew what to do if we did get sick while we were there. It worked out really well," she said.

At Arrowhead Medical Clinic in Cedar Falls, Dr. David Kirkle specializes in travel medicine.

"A lot of places they're going are very third world developing countries and a lot of diseases like malaria, dengue fever things like that, hepatitis, typhoid. And a lot of people don't realize what they're putting themselves at risk for if they don't get their immunizations," said Dr. Kirkle.

Kirkle says be sure to plan ahead as some medications need to be given in a series.

"And so we go to the specific country and it gives us a print out of all the recommendations for that particular country. What diseases are present, what immunizations might be needed and we kind of tailor it to the individual," said Kirkle.

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