Travel Health Is All About Awareness And Prevention!
The majority of travel illness can be prevented. Even when traveling to the most exotic destinations most health issues still come from mosquitoes, food, water and traffic accidents. Measures can be taken to prevent risks while traveling. The most notable one being to watch what you eat and drink. Protect yourself from insects with proper clothing and repellent and get vaccinated. Avoiding all travel on the roads is not going to be possible, but some risk can be reduced. Some people get into a carefree mode while traveling and forget to wear their seat belt. In under developed countries the road conditions may be poor and the driving is erratic. To decrease the risk of an accident avoiding travel at night. Sometimes as we have experienced there is nothing more you can do but get in, hold on and pray!
Visit Your Doctor Or A Travel Health Clinic Before You Go
Get any recommended vaccines prior to traveling. Depending on your destination you may need some preventative medication, such as malaria pills. Vaccines And Medication
If you are taking any prescription medications make sure you have an adequate supply for your trip, and a little extra just in case. You should carry a copy of your written prescriptions and the contact information of your physician. Carry treatments for cuts, diarrhea, motion sickness, allergies, pain and fever.
Many Illnesses Can Be Prevented By Just Simply Washing Our Hands
We often do things and forget about washing our hands before or after wards, some examples are:
- eating and drinking
- brushing our teeth
- blowing our nose
- going to the washroom
- changing diapers
- touching door knobs, railings and other high hand surfaces
- handling money
Wash your hands with a generous amount of soap and rub together for at least 20 seconds. Turn off the tap with paper towel and if you have to touch a door handle to get out of the washroom use the paper towel to touch that as well. If using an ethanol based hand sanitizer make sure it is at least 60% alcohol based.
Look After Your Feet
Something that travelers often overlook is their foot care. Keep your feet clean and dry and as tempting as it is, do not go barefoot! You can get fungal and parasitic infections. Some countries have very high risk for parasites on their beaches, such as places in Africa.
Get any recommended vaccines or preventative medication before traveling abroad. Contact your physician, or visit a travel health website, to learn if there are any recommendations for your travel destination. Common vaccines that keep travelers healthy include hepatitis and tetanus. Find out if you should take anti-malaria pills on your trip, it’s advisable for travel to certain countries abroad.
Not All Water Is Safe For Swimming In
Some fresh water in Africa, South America and Asia contains parasites. Chlorinated pools and salt water are generally safe.
Be Wary Of What You Eat And Drink
It is important to stay hydrated, bottle watered is the safest bet if you are in a developing country. Pay special attention to what you eat when traveling. Some countries do not have the same standards in the handling and storage of their food.
If you are staying in an area where the water is questionable avoid anything that may contain tap water such as ice and mixed drinks and some uncooked foods. Even a small amount of water such as when brushing your teeth is enough to make you ill. If in doubt eat only hot cooked foods.
Avoid raw fruits and vegetables. This includes salads and uncooked vegetables as these may have been rinsed with tap water and may be contaminated. Eat only food that has been cooked and is still hot, or fruit that you have washed in known clean water and that you peeled.
Foods To Avoid In Developing Countries
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Undercooked or raw meat, fish or eggs
- Foods that have been left unrefrigerated such as meat, eggs and dairy
- Thoroughly cooked fruits and vegetables
- Fruits with a thick covering that you can peel yourself such as bananas
- Thoroughly cooked meat, poultry, eggs, and fish
Protect Yourself In Sun Destinations
Use sunscreen or cover up to avoid sunburn. Wear a hat with a brim to protect your face and neck.
Avoid Touching Animals
Avoid touching animals and birds, rabies is a risk for some countries. Seek medical attention immediately if an animal bites you.
Don’t Over Do It
Keep a relaxed travel pace. Get plenty of rest and keep hydrated.
Monitor your health once you return from your trip. If you become ill or notice any unusual symptoms visit your doctor and tell them where you have traveled to.