Keeping corporate travelers healthy while abroad

Keeping corporate travelers healthy while abroad

healthy corporate travel passport

In the increasingly global business market, corporate travel is taking people to further destinations for longer periods of time. Because the stakes of these trips can be high, the health of travelling employees should be a top consideration.

Infectious diseases contracted abroad have both medical and financial impacts to the corporation, including health expenses, lost wages of the employee and, perhaps, a substantial negative financial effect on the business deal at hand. To help ensure an uninterrupted and productive trip, business travellers must be aware of their medical history, receive necessary immunizations, carry appropriate medications (such as antibiotics for treatment of traveller’s diarrhea), and know where to go if they need medical care while abroad.

Immunizations are critical to the health of a business traveller. However, those travelling for work often don’t have enough time for vaccinations immediately prior to their trip. In these cases, we recommend a visit to the clinic even before their exact departure dates and destinations are known. At Copeman Healthcare, we advise frequent consults with members of our travel health team to ensure vaccinations are kept up-to-date and any risks associated with future trips are addressed.

Routine immunizations should always be current – these include tetanus, measles, mumps, influenza, polio and pneumococcal disease (especially for those over the age of 65 or those with chronic health conditions such as diabetes). While polio has been eliminated in Canada, there are still some countries in the world where the disease remains active. Similarly, there are also periodic outbreaks of measles around the world – in Europe in 2011 there were 26,000 cases (of which 83 per cent were in Western Europe).

Every week, at least 30 per cent of all international travellers experience a diarrheal illness. Corporate travellers, even those dining in five-star hotels and restaurants, are not immune to it. Prevention includes careful attention to food selection and safe water consumption. Other food – and water-borne illnesses such as hepatitis A and typhoid may also pose a considerable risk for corporate travellers. Vaccines for these illnesses can offer travellers valuable protection.

Corporate travellers should also be aware of illnesses transmitted by insects, including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and Japanese encephalitis. Some of them can be prevented with vaccines, while for others vaccines do not exist; in these cases, one must rely on insect precautions.

During a travel health consult, we review each traveller’s risks and provide appropriate vaccinations and medications. We also provide education about food and water precautions, insect precautions, altitude sickness prevention and management, jet lag management and any other topics that are applicable to the destination.

Travel consultations are available at no additional cost to LifePlus clients, and can be booked through your Clinical Care Coordinator. Those not currently enrolled in the LifePlus program also have access to our Travel Clinic on a fee-for-service basis.

Copeman Healthcare is a designated Yellow Fever Vaccine clinic.