Vacationing outside the U.S.? Prepare with care close to home

News & Events

By Max J. Coppes, M.D., PhD, MBA

Max J. Coppes, M.D., PhD, MBA, is professor and Nell J. Redfield chair of pediatrics at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. He is also physician-in-chief at Renown Children's Hospital.

Max J. Coppes, M.D., PhD, MBA, is professor and Nell J. Redfield chair of pediatrics at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. He is also physician-in-chief at Renown Children's Hospital.

You just decided on your next vacation with the children, the itinerary looks spectacular, the accommodations are impressive and the whole family is excited. This time you have been a little bold—you will be visiting a rather exotic country. As you mull over all the new experiences you will be exposed to, you start considering some of the practical things that need your attention before you depart.

What currencies do you need to bring? Is it safe to use your credit cards? Are you insured for any medical situations you may experience? Then—wait a minute—what about medical conditions? Is it medically safe to visit the destination? Moreover, what about the children? Will you be exposing them unnecessarily to tropical diseases? You go online and sure enough, the area has mentions of dengue fever, possibly malaria, and even yellow fever.

Fortunately, there are medical specialists here in Reno who can provide advice and guidance.

For a little while now, the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and Renown Health have been offering advice for people traveling outside of North America. Beginning this month, the Travel Medicine Clinic at UNR Med's Internal Medicine and Multispecialty Clinic -- Renown Campus will be complimented by Dr. Sara Healy, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Renown Children's Hospital, who has extensive experience traveling in Africa, where she helps eradicate malaria. Together with Dr. Steven Zell, professor of internal medicine at UNR Med and a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine, they will offer advice before and after you (and your children) travel.

Since they have access to a network of over 1,400 travel experts and colleagues worldwide, they can ensure that you obtain the latest medical updates on global health risks worldwide. And because some disease information changes frequently, having access to the most current data and resources will provide you with the very best care and advice before you leave Reno.

During your visit to the Travel Medicine Clinic, the care providers will offer an in-depth analysis of any potential risks associated with your planned itinerary and make recommendations specific to your trip for you and your family. At the clinic, you will be informed whether you need specific vaccinations or to update previous vaccinations, which can be administered on-site.

The providers will also prescribe medications to protect against infections like malaria as well as digestive tract disorders. They can also prescribe medications you can take if certain symptoms develop. Dosage for children and adults often differs, so it is convenient to have travel medicine experts for adults and children at the same location.

Finally, you can return to the clinic for a consultation after you trip if someone in your family develops symptoms for a travel-related illness.

What a great service available right here at home in Reno. Safe travels!

Learn more about UNR Med's Internal Medicine and Multispecialty Clinic -- Renown Campus online or call 775-982-5000. New patients are welcome and same-day appointments are available. The clinic accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial health insurance plans.

Max J. Coppes, M.D., PhD, MBA, is professor and Nell J. Redfield chair of pediatrics at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. He is also physician-in-chief at Renown Children's Hospital.


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The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision that has served Nevada for 50 years. The state's first public medical school, UNR Med fosters a healthy Nevada through excellence in medical education, medical care, research and community engagement, within a culture of respect, compassion and inclusion. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services, education and outreach, UNR Med is improving the future of health care. For more information, visit our 50th anniversary website.

Released: Tuesday July 3, 2018 @ 5:00 AM