The latest Travel Confidence Survey by the Travel Industry Association
of America shows the highest percentage of Americans since Sept.
11 planning to take at least one leisure trip in the next six months.
Sixty-five percent of Americans have leisure travel plans, and 66
percent of business travelers say they expect to take at least one
trip in the first half of 2002.
Those statistics are good news for Emorys TravelWell clinics.
Located in the new medical office tower at Crawford Long, with a
branch in the Emory Clinic/Emory Hospital, the TravelWell clinics
see a variety of patients preparing to travel abroad. The staff
conducts personal travel assessments and physical exams while dispensing
prescriptions, immunizations and education about the patients
destination. Post-travel treatment, if necessary, also is provided
upon the patients return.
A preventive, pre-travel education, in so many ways, should
be one of the first things a person considers when planning a trip
abroad, said TravelWell Director Phyllis Kozarsky, professor
of medicine and infectious diseases.
It only takes 24 to 36 hours to travel anywhere in the world,
which is less than the incubation period for many illnesses. Knowing
your risks and getting the proper immunizations and education before
you leave town are all vital parts of planning a good trip.
TravelWell provides services to individual families, missionaries,
volunteer organizations and large corporations, including Coca-Cola,
Delta Air Lines and CNN. The clinics also offer consultations with
foreign visitors, immigrants and refugees new to the Atlanta area.
At this time, corporate business travelers make up about
50 percent of our clientele, Kozarsky said. Since Sept.
11, weve been seeing a number of people coming in for vaccinations
and prescriptions before traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan for
extended periods of work. The clinics are definitely catering to
the business population now. But as spring and summer both approach,
we will likely see more leisure travelers.
A travel and tropical medicine specialist, Kozarsky realized the
need for TravelWell after returning from a trip to India with acute
pneumonia and a gastrointestinal illness. I was very sick
and hospitalized for days, she remembered. I got my
shots but did nothing else to avoid medical problems while I was
in India. Even though I am a physician, I wasnt a very well-prepared
TravelWell maintains around-the-clock and up-to-the-minute information
about specific health risks and emerging diseases through a network
called GeoSentinel, which Kozarsky oversees. Funded by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, the network is described as
a worldwide surveillance group of physicians in 30 travel clinics
designed to capture information on emerging infectious diseases.
The data from this unique network is used to develop health recommendations
One of the early pioneers in the field of travel medicine, Kozarsky
has been instrumental in advancing clinical tropical medicine and
travelers health, both professionally and from a public-awareness
standpoint. She is one of the founding members (and is now president-elect)
of the International Society of Travel Medicine, whose goal is to
educate health care professionals and the public regarding travel,
migration and refugee health issues.
Because prevention is so important when traveling to overseas
destinations, we hope Atlantans will take advantage of our services
before they board the airplane, Kozarsky said.