Introduction to Travel Health

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 01, 2013

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Travel towards your health


Travelling is a frustrating and stressful part of the holiday experience for many of us; just to reach our ultimate destination with minimum fuss is a bonus, as there always seems to be a glitch in your planning somewhere along the way. 


However, when you finally get settled into your accommodation and are ready to start enjoying yourselves, it's nice to have peace of mind that everyone is safe and healthy; it ruins the holiday when some member of the party is laid-up in bed, and it might compound your misery if you knew it was something you could have controlled with some forethought or foresight.


Although you can't totally eliminate the stress associated with a major holiday, this section can help you to minimise it.


Travel Health at a Glance


You are going on a holiday and have probably looked forward to this moment for a long time; your high spirits will guarantee you are going to have the time of you life, and you deserve it all.  But what if something happened when you are there?  What if you fell ill and were unable to participate in the daily activities?  Wouldn't that just be the worst feeling?  There are one or two things you can do to reduce the health risks associated with certain destinations.

  • Visit a travel medicine clinic near you; it is highly recommended you see a health-care provider who focuses on Travel Medicine. You should share with the doctor your travel plans and enumerate your  medical history, so he can make a judgment on how safe your destination is and what precautions you need to take.  Note: Some vaccines take 4-6 weeks to become active, so this visit may need to take place well in advance of your trip.
  • Take precautions to guard yourself against various illnesses and injuries while you are abroad; consult your health-care provider to help you decide on the required medication; these should be available on demand at any decent pharmacy or health-shop.
  • During a single trip, if your travel plans take you to various countries you should make it a point to inform your health-care provider.

NOTE: Those who plan to study or work abroad for a significant amount of time might need additional vaccinations as advised by their employer or educational institute.


Avoiding danger


Averting Insect Bites:


Tick and sand fly bites are the main causes for the spread of diseases like:

  • Leishmaniasis
  • Tickborne encephalitis (TBE)

Here are some of the ways in which you can prevent such bites:

  • One should always use insect repellent with 30%-50% DEET. Picaridin, available in 7% and 15% concentrations and should be applied on regular basis.
  • Proper clothing is essential - i.e. long sleeved shirts, pants, a hat of some sort.
  • Wear shoes instead of sandals.
  • Tucking your pants into your socks.

Averting Animal Bites and Scratches:

Diseases like rabies can be caused by straight and direct contact with animals. It can also lead to serious injury or illness, thus it becomes important for you to take due precautionary measures to prevent animal bites and scratches. Such as:

  • Tetanus vaccination: a must to be ensured of.
  • Do not approach a strange animal. Even healthy looking pets can also have rabies or other diseases, so always be alert.
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