Returning From Your Trip

MAINTAINING CONTACT

Visiting or living abroad, even for a short period, can be an intense experience in which friendships develop rapidly. Keeping in touch with friends from abroad and in your travel group can make a meaningful trip even more enduring and can help ease the transition between life there and life at home. Thanks to the increasing reach of new technologies, there are more ways than ever to stay in touch with people around the globe.

MEDICAL CONSIDERATIONS

The most frequent health problems found in returning travelers are persistent gastrointestinal illness, skin rashes, respiratory infections, and fever.  Fever after returning from a malaria-endemic area is a medical emergency, and you should seek medical attention immediately regardless of previous treatment abroad.

Some diseases may not manifest themselves immediately but have an incubation period of 3 months. Malaria may not cause symptoms for as long as 6-12 months after exposure.

In general, when returning from abroad, you are advised to have a prompt medical examination at the Student Care Center if you:

  • Suffer from a chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and/or chronic respiratory disease;
  • Experience in the weeks following your return home illness such as fever, persistent diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, urinary disorders, skin disease, or genital infection; fever after returning from a malaria-endemic area is a medical emergency, and you should seek medical attention immediately regardless of previous treatment abroad;
  • Believe that you have been exposed to a serious infectious disease while traveling; or
  • Have spent more than three months in a developing country.

If you are ill, avoid travel other than to seek medical attention.

If you have been abroad for many months or longer, particularly in developing countries, it may be prudent to be screened for certain diseases even if you are asymptomatic. The decision to screen for particular pathogens will depend on the travel and exposure history. For example, if you have engaged in unprotected sex or have received an injection, a body piercing, or a tattoo, you may choose to be screened for HIV, hepatitis C, other STDs, and, if you are not immune, hepatitis B.