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After You Return

Returning from travel abroad 

After routine travel for short amounts of time, a medical examination is usually not necessary once you return home. The CDC has no official guidelines for screening international travelers who do not show any symptoms of a disease except in special populations, such as refugees or international adoptees.  

However, in certain circumstances, it is advisable to be seen by your doctor. Those circumstances include:

  • People who have fever, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, urinary problems, skin or genital infections, or flu-like symptoms shortly after returning from travel should have a medical examination immediately.

  • After visiting a malaria-risk area, people who develop a fever, flu-like symptoms, or become ill while traveling or within a year after returning home, should see a doctor immediately for medical care.

  • People with known high-risk exposures that are linked to the transmission of certain agents, even if there are no current symptoms.  

  • People who have engaged in casual unprotected sex or have received an injection, a tattoo, or body piercing may be screened for specific diseases.  

  • People who suffer from chronic diseases, such as HIV or AIDS, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and/or liver disease should consult with their doctor for recommendations regarding medical care after returning home.   

  • Having a medical examination after staying abroad many months or longer is advised. Although certain diseases do not develop immediately after travel, some may appear within a few weeks. Anyone who becomes ill after returning from extended travel abroad should contact his or her doctor immediately.

There is always the possibility that a person who has been traveling has contracted an unusual disease ? one with symptoms that do not become evident until many months following exposure (for example, malaria). Consult your doctor for more information.

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