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Travelers' Health

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In the News:
Jet Aircraft cabins are kept at low pressures to save energy and increase fuel efficiency, but this has adverse effects on the passengers
A recent study found that passengers flying at an altitude of 7000 to 8000 feet for 3 hours or longer started to develop symptoms of malaise, muscle discomfort, and fatigue. The frequency of reported discomfort increased with increasing altitude. Also their oxygen saturation fell significantly as cabin altitude increased. Those at 8000 ft dropped their saturation by a maximum of 4.4 percentage points.

Airlines could raise the cabin pressures and make their passengers more comfortable, but it would cost more money. N Engl J Med July 2007 Medline® abstract

Few hotels, motels, and resorts have installed carbon monoxide detectors despite nearly 800 cases of poisonings over 15 years The incidences of carbon monoxide poisoning has not caught the attention of lawmakers, so detectors have not been mandated in hotel rooms. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, June 2007

Travel from the Center for Disease Control (CDChttp://www.cdc.gov/travel/  This is a comprehensive U.S. website from the CDC National Center for Infectious Diseases which has information regarding the following:

  • Safe Food and Water How to avoid illnesses related to unsafe food and water. This section includes specific recommendations for treatment of water and foodborne illness.
--Written by N Thompson, ARNP in collaboration with M Thompson, MD, Internal Medicine, Updated August 2007

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