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Staying Healthy Abroad


8 Seek top-notch medical care. A high-end hotel's concierge should have the names and numbers of reputable physicians, dentists, and clinics. Some hotels, such as the Four Seasons Buenos Aires, have an in-house registered nurse. Many others, such as the Conrad Bangkok, have doctors on call 24 hours a day.

If you buy travel-health insurance, you can get referrals from your provider. Otherwise, the consular-services section of an American Embassy can suggest preferred physicians and facilities. Also, the nonprofit International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (www.iamat.org) inspects clinics and has a list of English-speaking, Western-trained physicians around the world. Membership is required, but it's free.

9 Avoid buying medication locally. "A large number of antimalarials and antibiotics available overseas are counterfeit," Kozarsky says. Drugs in many developing countries can be purchased without a prescription, so if you must buy medicine abroad, make sure you get your hotel doctor to okay it.  A  2004 study in the journal Tropical Medicine & International Health found that 53 percent of antimalarials purchased in five Asian countries were bogus. Other medications may be adulterated with additional narcotics.


10 If you have a fever, seek medical attention. Up to 11 percent of returning travelers can experience febrile illness, according to a study published in the journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians. If you've been to a malarious area, a fever is "a medical emergency,'' Kozarsky says, and you need to see a doctor immediately. The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (www.astmh.org) has a list of post-travel experts.


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