Health preparations for exotic travel
Keeping an eye on your health
The secret to keeping safe and healthy on any trip is preparation. Exotic travel can be a wonderful experience, and change your perspective on life. There are, however, often risks associated with travelling to far flung locales.
Making sure you are aware of the particular risks involved with your destination, and preparing in advance for them is the best way to ensure you stay safe and healthy on your trip. While it is impossible to foresee every potential risk, there are a few major pieces of preparation you should undertake.
Vaccinations are perhaps the single most important thing to consider when travelling to exotic places. Most of the conditions which are prevalent in popular tourist destinations can be prevented against with vaccinations. Look up advice on which vaccinations are most necessary in your destination while planning your trip, and ensure your doctor administers them to you with plenty of time before your embark.
Malaria is a disease spread by mosquito bites. While symptoms usually appear within a period of 7 to 30 days, they can sometimes take up to a year to develop, so preparation particularly important.
Malaria is prevalent in many areas of the world, including Central and South America, Africa, parts of Asia and the Pacific. Sleeping inside, and using a mosquito net, along with wearing sleeved clothing and using insect repellent are major ways of preventing malarial insect bites. Take prescription medicine if recommended by a doctor.
Dengue Fever is most common in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world, particularly in the Caribbean, Pacific, South East Asia and parts of South America. It is an illness spread by mosquito bites, whose symptoms usually develop within two weeks. There is currently no vaccine for Dengue fever, so taking anti mosquito precaution is advised. Wearing long sleeved clothes and sleeping within a mosquito net, as well as using insect repellent are advised.
Lyme Disease is an infectious disease caused by bacteria, usually transmitted through infected tick bites. It is usually initially noticeable by a rash which develops from the tick bite. If untreated, Lyme Disease can lead to serious health problems. In order for the disease to be transmitted, the tick usually has to be attached for between 36 and 48 hours. Removing ticks safely is therefore a necessity.
Preventing tick bites by wearing skin covering clothing and using insect repellents with the active ingredient ‘DEET’ are also sensible precautions.
Yellow Fever is prevalent in parts of South America and Africa. Symptoms usually occur within 3 to 6 days, and include feverish symptoms and muscles aches. Up to 15% of Yellow Fever sufferers develop a more serious illness. If travelling to an area known to have Yellow Fever, ensure you get a vaccination at least 10 days before your trip.
Those who have had the vaccination receive a yellow certificate card to prove they have been vaccinated. Preventing mosquito bites is also a sensible precaution.
Being Safe – Before and After
Exotic Travel is increasing in popularity, and as more and more people return from their trips, many doctors are starting to offer post trip health check ups. It is often worth seeing your doctor after your trip to check for any common symptoms of diseases known to be prevalent in your holiday destination. Making sure you are aware of the risks and taking adequate precautions are not always enough, so go for a check up with a professional to be sure.
Finally, the easiest way to stay safe on an exotic trip is to be sensible. Learning of the risks you might face allows you to understand how to stay healthy. Keeping yourself safe is the best way to reduce any risks you might face.