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My family and I are planning to travel abroad this holiday season. What precautions should we take before departure?

“When planning a trip, the last thing you want to think about is illness – especially during the holidays,” says Melanie Mouzoon, M.D., Managing Physician for Immunization Practices. “Yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, throughout the year, more than 11 million people suffer some kind of illness while traveling abroad. The good news is that many of these illnesses are preventable, when you do some planning before leaving home.”

Immunizations are essential to protecting yourself and your family from serious diseases, many of which can be lifethreatening. Every destination, including those in the developed world, has its own list of recommended immunizations to guard against communicable diseases.

“It’s important to consult a travel medicine expert 4-6 weeks prior to departure, especially if you are traveling in a remote area or a developing country,” says Dr. Mouzoon. “During this consultation, a trained medical professional can give you detailed health information tailored to your itinerary. By taking health precautions before you leave the country, you may increase your chances of having a safe holiday vacation.”

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Melanie Mouzoon, MD, FAAP, FABM

​I am privileged to work with newborns and to have the opportunity to help in the transition from "couple" to "family." I am a great advocate of supporting new moms in achieving successful breastfeeding and in helping new dads to become involved in the care and emotional support of their children. I believe that every baby deserves exceptional care and attention and I make my medical decisions very conservatively. Because I don't follow newborns once they leave the hospital, it is important to me that there are no unresolved issues and that the family is well-informed and able to care for the baby at discharge.