Traveler's Health   

Montana Traveler Resources

Different travel destinations have different travel risks. To learn about the risks associated with your travel destination, please visit the CDC Traveler's Health webpage. For more information about traveler’s health, please refer to the CDC Yellow Book.

COVID-19

Current masking requirements for travel. 

On May 3rd, CDC released a media statement regarding wearing masks in travel and public transportation settings.

Heat and Cold Disorders

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Whether it is during a hot summer hike or a cold winter ski, the temperature can severely affect our bodies.

In high temperatures, our bodies will sweat, releasing water and solutes, to cool us down. But in excessive heat, our bodies can have trouble regulating our temperature and we can end up very sick because of it.

Common Heat Disorders and Illnesses:

  • Symptoms include extreme thirst, dark-colored and less frequent urination, fatigue, and dizziness.
  • Drink lots of water and eat foods high in water (ex. Fruits and vegetables) to prevent dehydration
  • Red, painful, blistering or peeling of the skin, caused by too much unprotected exposure to the sun
  • Wear and reapply sunscreen every hour before spending time in the sun
  • If a sunburn develops, drink lots of fluids, treat with after-sun lotion/aloe vera, and avoid sun exposure until burn heals
  • A ‘prickly’ red rash that generally disappears a person returns to a cool environment
  • Cramping that usually happens in the muscles used while working hard in the heat
  • Usually alleviated by rest, drinking water, and replenishing salt lost through sweat by drinking or eating something with salt
  • The onset of headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and thirst after time spent in high heat
  • This is a Medical Emergency
    • Signs include confusion, headache, irritability, and emotional instability
    • Symptoms include a body temperature of over 104 F

How to prevent heat disorders:

      • Wear sunscreen
      • Stay cool indoors
      • Go to a public air-conditioned building (ex. Shopping mall)
      • Use your stove and oven less
      • Take a cool shower or bath
      • Put a cold, wet washcloth, or towel on the back of your neck
      • Avoid hot and heavy meals
      • Stick to shaded areas
      • Drink plenty of fluids
      • Replace your salt and minerals (ex. Drink a sports drink)

For more information, please visit CDC’s Extreme Heat webpage.

Common Cold Disorders and Illnesses:

  • This is a Medical Emergency
  • Caused by prolonged exposure to very cold temperatures
  • Symptoms include shivering, exhaustion, slurred speech, bright red cold skin (in babies), memory loss, and confusion
  • While you wait for medical help, do what you can to warm the person up
  • Injury caused by freezing
  • Symptoms include numbness, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, a white or grayish-yellow skin area
  • Redness or pain in any skin area usually the beginning signs of frostbite – Get out of the cold or protect exposed skin
  • Dress in warm, winter-appropriate clothing, wearing many layers if necessary
  • Avoid spending time outside when the temperature is well below freezing
  • Lookout for any red and painful skin (may be beginnings of frostbite)

 

 For more information, please visit CDC’s Winter Weather webpage.

Mosquito-borne diseases

Common mosquito-borne diseases associated with travel outside Montana:

For more information about traveler's health, please refer to the  CDC Yellow Book.

 

Tick-borne diseases

Ticks are small parasitic arachnids that can range in size from as small as the head of a pin to as large as a pencil eraser. Ticks can carry and transmit diseases through bites, much like mosquitoes. Different regions in the United States carry different levels of risk associated to tick-borne diseases. The best way to avoid getting a tick-borne illness is to avoid getting bitten by ticks.

In the United States, some of the most common tickborne diseases are:

Check out CDC’s Tickborne Diseases of the United States webpage and DPHHS’ Tickborne Illnesses webpage for more information.

Prevention

  1. Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone. Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin.
  2. Treat dogs and cats for ticks as recommended by a veterinarian.
  3. Check for ticks daily, especially under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and on the hairline and scalp.
  4. Shower soon after being outdoors.
  5. Learn more about landscaping techniques that can help reduce blacklegged tick populations in the yard

Water-borne diseases

Every year, thousands of Americans get sick after recreating in water because of germs found in places where people swim. In Montana, as well as other states across the US, there are many potential sources of exposure to untreated water. This includes drinking unfiltered water from rivers and streams; a common occurrence among those who like to hike, backpack, camp, and swim.

In the United States, the most common waterborne diseases are:

  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Giardiasis

Helpful tips to avoid acquiring a waterborne disease:

For more information, please visit DPHHS’ Recreational Water Illness and Injury webpage.