Travellers lack awareness of diseases

Travellers lack awareness of diseases

A recent survey commissioned by Valneva USA, the US subsidiary of global vaccine biotech company Valneva SE, has found that there is low awareness of endemic diseases among people travelling to international destinations.

The survey found that despite an uptick in travel to Asian-Pacific countries, many travellers don’t seek preventative healthcare from a qualified travel health specialist in advance of travelling.  Only 18 per cent of the 776 US adults who visited Asia for 10 or more days that were surveyed said they visited a travel health specialist to discuss health related preparations for travel.

The survey also highlighted low awareness of Japanese encephalitis (JE), which although rare, is serious and is the most common form of vaccine-preventable encephalitis and viral-induced neurologic disability in Asia. Indeed, only 33 per cent of respondents said they were aware of the disease, and only 16 per cent of travellers considered to be at high risk received a preventative vaccine.

“Most Americans are vaccinated for diseases common to our country as children, but aren’t always protected when traveling abroad,” said Dr Scott Morcott, family physician and Medical Director of Passport Health Chicago. “I encourage anyone planning international travel, especially those who may be abroad for extended periods of time such as students, business people, adventure travellers and volunteers, to visit a travel health practitioner to learn about preventative measures for travel-related diseases.”