Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011 is World Malaria Day

Ten years ago today, 44 African leaders formed a committee devoted to decreasing human deaths caused by Malaria.  This commitment is celebrated annually on April 25th and is marked as the day to commemorate global efforts to fight Malaria. Malaria is a serious illness that puts 3.3 billion people in 106 countries at risk of the disease.  Currently Africa is the continent most at risk and many of the 1 million deaths are African children. “Passport Health wants to honor this day and show its support by offering to protect and educate people about the disease” notes Fran Lessans, Passport Health’s Founder and CEO.

The theme of the 2011 World Malaria Day campaign is "Achieving Progress and Impact" to celebrate the successful results of these past efforts but also highlight the significant challenges that still remain and emphasize how much more must be done to reach near zero deaths by 2015. There is no vaccination for Malaria and no drug is 100% effective at preventing Malaria. Preventive measures such as the use of bed nets and repellents in conjunction with the properly subscribed medication are important and can dramatically decrease the risk to travelers.  Passport Health, specializes in helping Business Travelers, Leisure Travelers, and Mission Travelers become informed and protected.

For more information or to schedule your consultation appointment with a travel specialist, Contact Passport Health or call 1-888-499-PASS (7277)

Friday, April 22, 2011

World Meningitis Day


BALTIMORE- This Sunday, April 24th, is “World Meningitis Day”. The goal is to create awareness about the preventive medicines available and gain support for those dealing with Meningitis. The Confederation of Meningitis Organization (CoMo) encourages people to “join hands” in their virtual community or become a member of CoMo at This global community has expanded drastically over the past two years; starting in North and South America reaching into the Indian Subcontinent, Asia and Australia to “joining hands” across state lines, country borders and continents.

“No one should ever have to see their children, siblings, friends or classmates suffer or die from a disease that is vaccine-preventable,” says Bruce Langoulant, President and Member of the Governing Council of CoMO, and father of a Meningitis survivor. Once infected with the disease, most damage is irreversible, resulting in deafness, epilepsy, brain damage, and even loss of limbs. “We recognize the dangers of Meningitis and the importance of being vaccinated against the disease,” notes Fran Lessans, Founder and CEO of Passport Health, the largest provider of travel medical services and immunizations in the U.S. “Meningitis affects people all over the world. Travelers need to be protected whether they are traveling for leisure, business or going on a mission trip. Our Travel Medicine Specialists will ensure you are properly prepared for your trip no matter where you are going,” adds Lessans.

Meningitis is a potentially deadly inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, which can be the result of infection by bacteria, viruses and fungi. Bacterial meningitis is the most severe type. It can strike quickly, is often difficult to diagnose, and can lead to death in a matter of hours.

To protect yourself, your family and community, get vaccinated and educated. For more information, visit or call 1-888-499-PASS (7277) to find the nearest Passport Health location.

Friday, April 8, 2011

CDC urges measles vaccine for children traveling abroad

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged Americans traveling or living abroad with their children to be sure the kids are vaccinated against measles, even those as young as 6 months.

Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. But cases are still turning up among Americans — especially unvaccinated children — returning from overseas travel.
The CDC said Thursday that 29 Americans came down with measles in the U.S. in January and February, seven of them young children. All had traveled abroad. Four children had to be hospitalized.

The disease is highly contagious. The virus is spread by coughing or sneezing, and remains viable in the air for up to two hours.

An estimated 30 million to 40 million cases still occur worldwide each year, with more than 730,000 deaths. It is the fifth most common cause of death worldwide among children younger than 5 years, said Dr. Lucy E. Wilson, a medical epidemiologist at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Measles typically produces high fever, runny nose, cough, and red and watery eyes, followed by a body rash. Severe cases can lead to pneumonia or encephalitis. One or two cases in a thousand are fatal, Wilson said.

"It can be contagious for four days before the rash appears," she said. Travelers can be exposed without realizing it. "And it is highly contagious. There are many cases in the literature of patients contracting the illness in an airport terminal or a hotel."

It's important for parents who are traveling outside the country and who have children either below the age of vaccination [1 year] or who have not completed their vaccinations to discuss with their pediatrician whether the child is eligible to complete the vaccinations or to get vaccinated at an earlier age," Wilson said.

April 07, 2011|By Frank D. Roylance, The Baltimore Sun