Visit Your Travel Clinic Before You Visit Brazil

Posted: June 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Visit Your Travel Clinic Before You Visit Brazil

Reposted from foxnews.com/health


An aerial shot shows the Maracana stadium, one of the stadiums hosting the 2014 World Cup soccer matches, in Rio de Janeiro. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes)

Those visiting Brazil should see their doctors or travel medicine specialists four to six weeks before traveling, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta write in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“We’re expecting that a lot of Americans will attend and we want to give them a chance to review some of the health and safety issues that come with attending World Cup-like events in a country like Brazil,” said Joanna Gaines, a senior epidemiologist at the CDC and lead author of the statement.

The CDC has already issued a travel advisory for U.S. citizens heading to the World Cup, which takes place in 12 cities throughout Brazil between June 12 and July 13 (see: 1.usa.gov/1mKeX2I).

The 2016 Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro from August 5 through August 21 of that year.

Gaines and her colleagues write that mass gatherings such as the World Cup and Olympics have been associated with illness outbreaks before.

For example, six different flu strains were behind an outbreak at the 2008 World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. Also, there were meningococcal outbreaks following a 1997 soccer tournament in Belgium and the 2000 Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

“We want to make sure that we can get our prevention message out to as many healthcare providers as we can,” Gaines told Reuters Health.

The health agency’s recommendations include receiving routine vaccines for preventable illnesses – such as the flu and measles, mumps and rubella, but also for other diseases, such as typhoid and yellow fever.

Seeing a doctor early “typically gives you enough time for vaccines to gain efficacy,” Gaines said.

While more time is ideal, Dr. Henry W. Murray said even people who may have forgotten to see a travel medicine specialist should make an appointment.

But, he agreed, “The best protection is to get it all done and out of the way a few weeks before departure.”

Murray was not involved with writing the new report. He studies infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

There are no vaccines for certain other illnesses, such as malaria and dengue that are spread by mosquitoes. Both are serious and are accompanied by flu-like symptoms.

For malaria, there are pills available to protect against the disease but none is 100-percent effective, according to the CDC’s website. There are no pills that prevent against dengue.

“We recommend that travelers regularly apply insect repellent and wear long sleeve clothing that’s also treated with insect repellant,” Gaines said.

She added that it’s important for people to know that while malaria is spread by mosquitoes that typically bite at night, dengue-carrying mosquitoes generally strike during the day.

The CDC’s report also provides tips on how to prevent food-borne illnesses. Those tips include drinking bottled water, eating steaming-hot foods and washing one’s hands.

“Your basic health protection measures help a lot as far as any infectious diseases are concerned,” Gaines said.

For more information on their recommendations, the researchers write that people can visit wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.

“People ought to be encouraged to go to the website,” Murray said. “I would have that in my hand before I call my primary care doctor or before I start looking around for a travel care clinic.”

Malaria Vaccine Development Advances

Posted: November 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , | Comments Off on Malaria Vaccine Development Advances

GenVec inked a $3.5 million agreement with the Naval Medical Research Center o support malaria vaccine development.

The Gaithersburg, MD-based company will produce supplies of its vaccine for use in clinical trials.  The company retains the right to commercialize the product.  The NMRC will assess the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in a clinical challenge model it developed with Walter Reed Army Institute of Research malaria vaccine programs.  Those programs are now unified as the U.S. Military Vaccine Program.

NMRC and WRAIR tested out GenVec’s candidate in April 2010 in a Phase I trial.  The data from the trial indicated the vaccine is safe, “causing minimal local or systemic reactions and no serious vaccine-related adverse reactions,” according to GenVec’s statement.  And four out of 15 volunteers inoculated with the vaccine showed a complete absence of parasites in the blood.

New Vaccine Shows Good Results in Testing

Posted: November 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , | Comments Off on New Vaccine Shows Good Results in Testing

Pfizer posted positive results in a late-stage study of its Prevnar 13 vaccine. The study of the shot, known as Prevnar in the U.S. and Prevenar in other countries and used to prevent infection by streptococcus pneumonia, showed that the immune response to the vaccine in the 18- to 49-year-old age group was noninferior when compared to the response in the 60- to 64-year-old age group.

The objective was met for all 13 serotypes in Prevnar 13, and the data support a recent regulatory submission to expand the indication of Prevnar 13 in the EU to include adults between 18 and 49 years old. Pfizer will also use study results to support similar planned submissions in other countries.

“Prevenar 13 is the first and only pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for adults, and we continue to study the vaccine in new populations with the aim of broadening its availability,” William Gruber, senior vice president of Vaccine Clinical Research and Development at Pfizer, said in a release.

The positive results come less than a month after the World Health Organization granted prequalification for the vaccine in adults over the age of 50, a decision that expanded the global market for the company’s lead vaccine.

Prevnar 13 is already approved in 110 countries for infants and young children. But only about 70 countries, including the U.S., approve it for adults over 50.

CDC Maps World-Wide Health Risks

Posted: September 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , | Comments Off on CDC Maps World-Wide Health Risks

Client Story: Healthy Travels in Chennai

Posted: September 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Client Story: Healthy Travels in Chennai

I recently visited Passport Health in anticipation of a two-week trip to India.  The purpose of my trip was to improve upon the meditation that I practice here at home.  My main destination of interest was a large celebration at an ashram in Chennai.  A couple of weeks before leaving, the location of the celebration was changed.  At first I was worried about the sudden change of plans, but it ended up allowing me the opportunity to visit three different locations and have a very interesting and wonderful time.

My travels started with a series of flights stopping in New York, Brussels, and then finally in Chennai, India.  I then caught a domestic flight to Coimbatore, and a taxi ride from Coimbatoreto Tiruppur.  I was fairly tired after almost 35 hours of traveling, but I was immediately welcomed with a delicious lunch and a cup of chai tea as I arrived in Tiruppur.  There was already a large gathering of nearly 60,000 people from around India and the rest of the world.

Meditating at an Ashram

This is the interior of the main meditation tent.

The accommodations were just large tents shared with fellow travelers, but were completely comfortable and even cozy.  I also really looked forward to the three healthy, freshly cooked meals served each day.

This is a photo of my accommodations

My accommodations were nice, even cozy.

After three days of relaxing meditations and inspiring lectures, I had the fortunate opportunity to spend some time at a mountain retreat center located in the jungles of Kerala.  It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  It was also a perfectly tranquil atmosphere that allowed for plenty of introspecting, relaxing, and recharging.

The Mountain Retreat

The Mountain Retreat was the perfect place to relax and recharge

It was easy to make new friends at the retreat center, and we traveled together to the ashram in Chennai, where I spent my last two days in India.  I didn’t do very much traditional tourism while in India, but I did get to spend a few hours traveling to markets in the city center.  We traveled via an open, motorized rickshaw in heavy traffic, which was a bit of an adventure.  After returning to the ashram, I enjoyed some great conversations with people from around the world.  While everyone had different experiences and perspectives in their lives, there is a definite bond and camaraderie in a place like the ashram.  Overall it was a pretty amazing journey, and I would encourage anyone who is at all interested to pursue a similar experience for themselves.

Ashram in Chennai

A statue in the Ashram in Chennai


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Passport Health Sarasota Stores Vaccines Appropriately

Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements, Travel Vaccines Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Passport Health Sarasota Stores Vaccines Appropriately

We Store Children’s Shots at Appropriate Temperature and Monitor Regularly

A Child being Vaccinated

Controversy has broken out recently regarding a federal program, organized by the CDC, that provides vaccines to pediatricians for free.   The program is called VFC, Vaccines for Children.  Apparently vaccines stored at most of the providers were not stored properly:

A report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that vaccines stored at the offices of 76% of a sample of providers involved in the CDC program were exposed to inappropriate temperatures for at least five cumulative hours during a 2-week inspection period.

This is a problem since inappropriately stored vaccines become ineffective.  Another mistake that VFC providers were committing was they were storing expired vaccines with active ones.  Storing the two together can lead to a patient being given the wrong vaccine when they need it, another dangerous situation.

At Passport Health Sarasota we monitor the temperature of our vaccine storage refrigerators 24/7.  If one of our refrigerators goes out of range the monitor begins to sound an alarm.  It will continue sounding that alarm until one of our employees manually turns it off and resets the monitor.  We do this to ensure the quality of our vaccines.  Moreover we do NOT store outdated vaccines with in date vaccines.

When choosing where to get your vaccines chose the “Vaccine Specialists” – Passport Health Sarasota.

CDC Confirms Four New Japanese Encephalitis Cases

Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Health Alerts | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on CDC Confirms Four New Japanese Encephalitis Cases

PEAK SEASON: The CDC said vaccination is still the best preventive measure; http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2012/06/06/2003534649

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday confirmed four new cases of Japanese encephalitis in Taiwan and urged the public to take precautions against mosquito bites during the peak June and July transmission period for the illness.

The four, all residing in Greater Tainan, were treated and some have been discharged from hospital, the CDC said in a statement.

The two men and two women infected with the disease are aged between 40 and 74, it said.

The four had been living or working in places close to pig pens, pigeon farms, ponds, heron nests or other areas prone to mosquito infestations, the CDC said.

Japanese encephalitis is transmitted mainly by mosquitoes.

The incubation period for the disease is five to 15 days, the CDC said. In mild cases, the symptoms are headache and fever, while in severe cases the patient may suffer convulsions, it said.

Late last month, the CDC confirmed the nation’s first case of Japanese encephalitis this year.

With the peak transmission season about to begin, the health agency urged the public to take preventative measures, such as wearing long pants and long sleeves to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

However, vaccination is the most effective method of preventing the disease, the CDC said, urging parents of children who have not yet received the three-stage vaccination to consult a doctor.

There are between 20 to 40 reported cases of Japanese encephalitis each year in Taiwan, with an annual death rate of between zero and two, according to CDC data.

Most patients are adults over the age of 20, the statistics show.