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Travel And Aviation Medicine
With globalization and air travel now becoming a necessity the world over for a very large population, it is but unavoidable that a very large number of diseases don’t remain anymore confined to a country or a continent and the spread can be fast and exponential. The present scourge of covid -19 pandemic defines that.
Travel medicine has over a period of time developed as a distinct speciality. Its major content areas include; the global epidemiology of health risks to the traveler, vaccinology malaria prevention, and pre-travel counseling designed to maintain the health of the approximately 600 million international travelers. It has been estimated that about 80 million travelers go annually from developed to developing countries.
Aviation medicine, on the other hand is a preventive occupational medicine in which the patients/subjects are pilots, aircrews, or astronauts. The specialty strives to treat or prevent conditions to which aircrew are particularly susceptible, it applies medical knowledge to the human factors in aviation and is thus a critical component of aviation safety. This discipline endeavors to discover and prevent various adverse physiological responses to hostile biologic and physical and psychological stresses encountered in the aerospace environment.
The problems in these specialties range from life support measures for astronauts to recognizing an ear block in an infant traveling on an airliner with elevated cabin pressure altitude.
Aeromedical certification of pilots, aircrew and patients is also part of Aviation Medicine. Another subdivision is the Aeromedical Transportation Specialty. These military and civilian medical specialists are concerned with protecting aircrew and patients who are transported by Air Evac aircraft (helicopters or fixed-wing airplanes).
As an basic example of the physical factors, the atmospheric physics potentially affects all air travelers regardless of the aircraft. As humans ascend through the first 9100–12,300 m (30,000–40,000 ft), temperature decreases linearly at an average rate of 2 °C (3.6 °F) per 305 m (1000 ft).Thus if sea-level temperature is 16 °C (60 °F), the outside air temperature is approximately −57 °C (−70 °F) at 10,700 m (35,000 ft). Pressure and humidity also decline, and aircrew is exposed to radiation, vibration and acceleration forces (the latter are also known as “g” forces). Aircraft life support systems such as oxygen, heat and pressurization are the first line of defense against most of the hostile aerospace environment. Higher performance aircraft provide more sophisticated life support equipment, such as “G-suits” to help the body resist the adverse effects of acceleration, along with pressure breathing apparatus, or ejection seats or other escape equipment.