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Reminding Canadians to Seek Travel Health Advice

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Public Health Agency of Canada wishes to remind Canadians about the importance of consulting a physician or travel medicine clinic if planning a trip abroad. This is especially true for those planning travel to tropical areas or developing countries.

This reminder is the result of the Agency having been recently notified of two cases of malaria in Canadians returning from resort areas in the province of La Altagracia in the Dominican Republic. This reminder is also timely as this is one of the busiest tropical travel periods of the year.

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The Agency advises Canadians to learn about any potential health risks associated with their travel destination and to consult a health professional at least four to six weeks before their departure.

A health professional will be able to assess the need for immunization or preventative medication, depending on the traveller's health situation, previous immunization history and travel itinerary. A health professional can also provide advice on how travelers can protect themselves and reduce their risk.

For example, if you are travelling to a country or area where malaria occurs, you will need to take antimalarial medication and use personal protectiove measures (e.g., repellents) against mosquito bites to reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitos, which transmit malaria. If you develop a fever within three months after returning from an area where malaria occurs, you should seek medical advice immediately and advise the physician of your recent travel.