The summer time is prime time for vacations. But the truth is sometimes travelers come home with more than just souvenirs. In this month's Health Check, report - Serese Cole reveals the one thing we can do to make our next trip - healthier and happier.
Karen Humlicek calls it a trip of a lifetime - Australia, Japan then China.
"Hong Kong, Shanghai and then we ended up in Beijing and walked on the Great Wall of China and had a marvelous time," remembered Humlicek.
While she was planning this amazing adventure, Karen did something doctors say we should all do when traveling outside the United States - come see them.
"Several people told me that they go on 30 trips and the 31st trip is when they get sick, " said Dr. Angela Sukstorf.
Dr. Sukstorf is an Infectious Disease Specialist at the Fremont Area Medical Center. She says being prepared can help avoid illnesses and a ruined trip. That's why four to six weeks before leaving, she suggests a doctor consultation to get needed vaccinations and talk about everything from where you're going, where you're staying - even what you plan to eat
"Make sure that all the food you eat is prepared properly that you don't eat from street vendors, " said Sukstorf.
She says GI tract illnesses, insect bites, and diseases like Malaria and Yellow Fever are a reality especially in places like Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.
"I tell people to take anti-diarrhea medication along with them in case they do have some symptoms and then I also send them with an antibiotic."
Dr. Sukstorf also tells her patients to drink plenty of bottled water when they travel abroad and wash their hands as often as they can. If that's not possible make sure there is plenty of hand sanitizer to go around.
"We just felt so much better after talking to her," said Karen.
Karen felt great her whole trip and is thankful the only thing she brought back - was good memories.
Doctors can also prescribe medication to prevent altitude illness, jet lag or motion sickness. If you get back from a trip and are not feeling well or notice you have a fever - you should see your doctor.
He or she can figure out what you were exposed to and the best way to treat it.