An Update on Travel Vaccines and Issues in Travel and International Medicine

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The fields of travel and international medicine are rapidly changing and growing. The role of occupational and travel health nurses is expanding and should be a focus for the future. At the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Annual meeting on March 24, 2015, in Boston, five presentations were included in the session, An Update on Travel Vaccines and Issues in Travel and International Medicine. This article summarizes three of the presentations and includes a portion of the information generated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) included in the fourth presentation. The first section focuses on the Essential Elements of Travel Medicine Programs including the pre-travel care assessment, trip research and risk identification, medication intervention review, non-pharmaceutical and prevention strategies, and post-travel care. The next section is an overview of key issues for business travelers. The growth in the number of international business travelers and unique aspects of business travel are emphasized in a comprehensive travel health program. This section also includes a discussion of expatriates and their special risks identified in recent literature (e.g., an assessment of the significant costs of health events and productivity losses by both business travelers and expatriates). The final section offers a specific example of a vaccine-preventable disease, namely, Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus, and needed changes in JE vaccine recommendations.

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