Hiram College

Travel Health Services

The Julia Church Health Center provides students, faculty and staff with comprehensive and up-to-date information and health care while traveling to destinations around the world.  Travelers are advised to make an appointment well before they are scheduled to leave.  For some destinations it can take several months to complete all necessary immunizations. The consultation is free of charge.

The vaccines we provide

  • Tetanus and Diphtheria
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A
  • Yellow Fever

Preventative medications for malaria are prescribed.

We also provide tuberculosis skin testing (Mantoux) prior to departing and/or after returning from destination(s) if necessary.  In addition, we supply you with destination specific information handouts on climate, terrain, economy, transportation, resources, consular information and emergency services.  For further information you may visit these websites:

Preparing for International Travel

What your First Aid Kit should contain (keep all medicines in original containers)

  • ibuprofen or acetaminophen (for pain, inflammation or fever)
  • antiseptic wipes
  • antibiotic ointment
  • bandages
  • diphenhydramine (i.e. Benadryl, for localized allergic reaction)
  • Optional:hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion (topical anti-itch)
  • dimenhydrinate (i.e. Dramamine, for motion sickness)
  • topical insect sting relief

For traveler’s diarrhea

  • bismuth subsalicylate (i.e. Pepto Bismol)
  • Immodium AD
  • oral antibiotics (for severe cases)

FYI on Traveler’s Diarrhea

Traveler’s diarrhea can occur in upwards of 50% of individuals traveling to underdeveloped countries.  It’s acquired through feces-contaminated food and water.  The traveler should avoid eating ice cubes and fresh fruit/vegetables not prepared by the traveler; should make sure food is hot and well cooked; and should avoid purchasing food from street vendors.

Prophylactic drugs for traveler’s diarrhea should be considered, particularly for persons who have a medical condition that would be compromised by any additional illness.  The current recommendation for diarrhea prevention includes the use of Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate).  This is good prophylactic because it is effective and better tolerated than antibiotics.  Taking Pepto can reduce the chance of getting traveler’s diarrhea by as much as 65%.  The bismuth eliminates harmful bacteria from the stomach, and the subsalicylate reduces the output of diarrhea fluid by its antisecretory and anti-inflammatory effects on the bowel wall.

Pepto is most effective when taken with meals and at bedtime.  It should be avoided by persons with aspirin allergy or intolerance, bleeding disorders, history of peptic ulcer disease, gastrointestinal bleeding, renal insufficiency, current use of anticoagulants, probenicid or methotrexate.  It should be used cautiously with aspirin.  Pepto Bismol will block the absorption of doxycycline, and therefore, the two should not be taken simultaneously.

The liquid form of Pepto is more effective than the tablets due to its coating effect.  If diarrhea is not controlled by eight ounces of Pepto over a short period of time, antibiotic treatment should be started.  Pepto should be stopped at this point, as it may interfere with antibiotic absorption.  Starting Immodium AD with the antibiotic will decrease the intestinal motility and kill the bacteria.  Do not take Immodium if you have a fever and be sure to stop it once your stools start to firm up.  Avoid drinking large quantities of sugary solutions like juice and pop; they may draw more fluid into the intestine and make the diarrhea worse.  Do not use the antibiotics if you have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Continue to take the antibiotic as directed and finish the prescribed course, even if you feel better (unless you develop an allergic reaction i.e. hives).  Consult a health care provider if symptoms continue for several days despite treatment measures.

Travelers should be aware of the danger signs of diarrhea including continued bloody diarrhea, severe vomiting or failure to improve after 24 hours of antibiotic therapy.  A post-travel checkup, including stool exam, is advised for those who experienced diarrhea during their trip.