MinuteClinic adds new travel-related services and immunizations
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games starting next month, MinuteClinic on Thursday announced the addition of several new travel-related services and immunizations to its offerings.
"Whether attending the upcoming 2016 Summer Games in Brazil, performing humanitarian service in a developing country, preparing for a semester abroad or simply enjoying a tropical beach vacation, international travelers should consider the health risks of the destination they are visiting and the preventive measures available to avoid harmful illness and disease," stated Angela Patterson, chief nurse practitioner, MinuteClinic. "Our new suite of travel-related health services assists families and individual travelers as they make plans for overseas trips."
Patients can now see a MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or physician assistant for a pre-travel risk assessment in advance of their trip and receive an individualized plan for prevention and treatment specific to the country they are visiting. Educational information is provided on health risks, disease outbreaks, recommended vaccines and preventive measures, including the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition, MinuteClinic nurse practitioners can provide guidance on prescribed travel-specific medications, over-the-counter medications, first aid supplies, food and water guidance and even mosquito bite prevention, if applicable.
MinuteClinic's robust suite of travel health related services include:
- Typhoid Vaccination: About 22 million cases of typhoid worldwide are reported annually according to the CDC. Vaccinations, both oral and injected, now offered at MinuteClinic, reduce the risk of disease by 50% to 80%. Typhoid can cause lasting fevers, weakness, stomach pains, headaches and other symptoms and can lead to internal bleeding and death in rare instances. The vaccine is available to patients older than 24 months in most states;
- Malaria Prevention: Medications to prevent malaria infection, a potentially fatal disease transmitted by mosquito bites, are now available at MinuteClinic. Practitioners will prescribe the most effective medication based on an assessment of the overseas destination, season of travel, duration and the patient's access to medical care. Malaria occurs in many popular regions including Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the South Pacific;
- Hepatitis A Vaccination: Travelers can reduce their risk of contracting hepatitis A, a liver disease spread by contaminated food and water, through a series of two vaccinations issued six months apart at all MinuteClinic locations. According to the CDC, Hepatitis A is among the most common vaccine-preventable infections acquired during travel. In the United States the most frequently identified risk factor for hepatitis A is international travel;
- Motion Sickness Prevention: Nurse practitioners can provide customized treatment plans for patients, ages six and up, reporting a prior history of motion sickness. Treatment options include over-the-counter medication recommendations and prescriptions when appropriate. Motion sickness is most common among children, women and seniors; and
- Travelers' Diarrhea Prevention and Treatment: MinuteClinic practitioners can provide medical advice on over-the-counter options to pack in the event of illness and can also provide treatment upon a patient's return.
Many travel-related services at MinuteClinic, including pre-travel risk assessments and typhoid vaccinations, cannot be billed to insurance. Other services such as hepatitis A vaccinations and travelers' diarrhea treatment, may be covered based on the individual patient's insurance plan.
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