CDC Book Provides Updated Information on International Travel Health Risks

ON July 13, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the release of an updated version of the "Yellow Book," the definitive guide to healthy international travel.

The newest edition of the "Yellow Book" provides information on a range of health risks from the ordinary -- sunburns, auto accidents and travelers- diarrhea -- to the extraordinary -- avian flu and natural disasters. New features include an expanded section on preventing injuries and life-threatening blood clots that develop while sitting for hours on a plane, as well as the latest recommendations for immunizations and malaria prevention. The biennial health guide, named for its yellow cover, is officially titled "Health Information for International Travel" and serves as the authoritative guide for travel health recommendations.

"More than 63 million Americans travel abroad each year. This book can help prepare travelers for their trips, or help them learn how to stay safe and healthy while overseas," said Dr. Christie Reed, team lead for CDC's travelers' health group. "The Yellow Book serves as the gold standard of travel health recommendations. We want travelers, health care providers and those in the travel industry to have the best information and health care recommendations for traveling abroad."

New features include an expanded section on injuries and auto accidents and tips for avoiding deep vein thrombosis on long international flights.

Because injuries and auto accidents are the greatest risk to travelers, the Yellow Book stresses the importance of wearing seatbelts when driving in foreign countries. The book also has information that can help the more than 10 million people who take cruise vacations each year protect themselves against norovirus (a highly contagious gastrointestinal illness) and motion sickness.

Additional new features in the 2007-2008 Yellow Book include:

* Recommendations on traveling to countries that have experienced limited, non-pandemic human avian influenza cases.

  • Updated immunization guidelines.
  • New developments in the prevention and treatment of malaria.
  • Detailed information of skin problems travelers may experience.
  • Health risks and recommendations for humanitarian workers.

Popular recurring features include recommendations for:

  • Pre- and post- travel health care.
  • Managing underlying and chronic conditions while traveling.
  • Jet lag.
  • Cruise ship travel.
  • Travelers with disabilities.
  • Recent immigrants returning home to visit friends and relatives.
  • Traveling with infants and children.
  • International adoptions.

"This book contains must-have information for the traveling public including families, students, missionaries and volunteers, multinational corporations, the travel industry, as well as for doctors, nurses and pharmacists," Reed said.

The Yellow Book, offered by major health publisher Elsevier, is now available at bookstores, through Internet book sellers or by contacting Elsevier at 1-800-545-2522.

The Yellow book also is available free online. To access the Yellow Book online, or to find additional information on travelers' health, go to http://www.cdc.gov/travel. The companion Web site lets travelers look up specific information by travel destination and view or print custom reports based on individual travel plans.

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