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Travelers' Diarrhea, H1N1, Norovirus, etc. Protect Yourself When You Travel.
Make A Checklist.
Did you pack your Travel Health Emergency Kit
The World loves Italy.
Enticing Los Cabos on the tip of the Baja Peninsula
Do Your Due Diligence before you Fly.
Once you make the decision to fly to a country that you know nothing about, except that it's beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches and the weather is gorgeous year round. You need to think about other "stuff", like -
These are just a few travel related diseases that you will want to avoid. Be sure that you are not taken by an eruption of rashes or worst.
- Malaria -serious and occasionally fatal disease.
- Typhoid Fever - associated with eating foods prepared in unsanitary conditions, and drinking contaminated water.
- Chikungunya - causes fever, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, rashes, etc,
- Norovirus - highly contagious, causes vomiting and diarrhea.
- Dengue Fever - causes severe flu-like symptoms, sometimes leads to Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever which can be fatal.
- H1N1 - new strain of influenza virus and causes similar symptoms, i.e. severe headaches,chills, fever, sore throat, etc,
- Travelers Diarrhea - causes severe cramps, bloating, more than three bowel movements per day.
- Hepatitis - infects the liver and is caused by consuming contaminated food and water, using dirty needles or syringes and practicing unsafe sex.
- Leptospirosis - caused by coming in contact with water, soil or food contaminated with urine from infected animals. In severe cases causes bleeding under the skin, kidney failure, chest pains, etc.
- Rickettsiosis - caused by ticks, mites or body lice, causes skin rash, skin lesions, fever, gastrointestinal problems, joint pain, etc.
- Sun poisoning - is a severe case of sunburn. this is usually form from ultraviolet, (UV rays), radiation that inflames your skin. Causes dehydration, blistering painful skin, headache, fever,nausea, dizziness, etc.
Sun poisoning rash developed after a swim - an abnormal reaction to UV light.
Prepare for travel
All travelers should be prepared for travel and should be aware of health issues and the measures to protect themselves, if the need arises.
Pack a medical kit with enough supplies for yourself and any other person who is traveling with you. There are three important Ps to keep in mind when traveling. These are, Be Proactive, Be Prepared and Be Protected.
Get your Immunizations before you Travel.
Protect yourself against Yellow Fever & Dengue Fever.
Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant
Be sure to check Health Department websites for health Advisories.
Take steps to be prepared for any health issues that would arise during your travel. Learn about any health advisories and weather conditions about your Destination.
Have a full medical check up. Make sure that you are healthy to travel to your destination choice. Have a vision and dental check up too.
Immunization is one of the most important ways to minimize your chance of being infected with a travel-related illness. Talk to your family doctor, discuss your travel destinations and the immunizations that you will need for the region that you are going to, and make sure that your childhood immunizations are up-to-date.
These are some of the disease that are preventable by vaccines, e.g. -
- European tick-bourne encephalitis
- Hepatitis A and B
- Japanese encephalitis
- Yellow fever
Look up the Health Department Website of the country you are about to visit.
Check your personal health status, you should not be flying :-
- with a baby less than 48 hours old,
- have passed 32 weeks of pregnancy
- have had any major surgery recently
- if you have suffered any serious illness recently
Check with your doctor to be sure that you are healthy to fly, some airlines will not let you on the aircraft if you are suffering from serious illnesses.
Get travel health updates from your Government Travel Health websites.
For Canada the website is www.travelhealth.gc.ca.
For U.S.A the website is www.cdc.gov/travel.
For The World Health Organization ( WHO) the website is www.who.int.
Pack Your Personal Health Care Kit
Be prepared for allergies
Take your Malaria medication with you
Use Portable Water Filter
Pack smart! Be sure to think about where you are going and whether you would have access to medical supplies that you might need. You would want to take along a personal health care kit.This should include -
- Your medications, make extra prescription refills to take along with you . You should keep each of your prescriptions in your carry on luggage and in your health care kit.
- A hard copy of the list of medications, (generic names included) that you are taking.
- Your EpiPen, if you have severe allergies.
- Medicines to prevent malaria.
- Antibiotic prescribed by your doctor.
- Anti diarrhea medications (Imodium, Kaopectate 1D,Maalox antidiarrheal, Pepto Diarrhea control), this is just to name a few.
- Antihistamine, with or without decongestant.
- Anti motion sickness medications.
- Medicine for pain.
- Mild laxative.
- Cough suppressant or expectorant.
- Antifungal and antibacterial creams or ointment
- Hydrocortisone cream.
- Insect repellant, containing DEET (30 or 50%) or pericaridin up to (15%).
- Sunscreen, SPF 15 or greater, with both UVB and UVA protection.
- Antibacterial hand wipes and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Lubricating eye drops.
- Band aids,gauze, bandages, antiseptic, tweezers, scissors, digital thermometer, cotton tip applicators, a quick reference first aid card and other basic first aid needs.
- Oral rehydration solution packets.
- Aloe gel for sunburns.
- Water purification tablets and filters.
- Commercial suture/syringe kits used by a healthcare provider.
Plan ahead for illnesses and injuries. Have your health insurance with you.
Ask a family member, friend, neighbor or anyone you can trust to be your contact person while you are on vacation. If you can, leave a copy of your prescriptions and your medical conditions with that person.
Have your Travelers Health Insurance with Your Passport
Preventive Hand Washing Measures
Purify water before you drink it.
- You can wear long sleeve shirts and long pants when you are outdoors at night in malaria infected areas.
- Use your sunscreen and your bug protection on any uncovered skin.
- Sprays, such as permethrin, can be sprayed onto clothes to keep mosquitoes away from clothes. Do not spray permethrin on skin.
- If you can, stay in hotels and resorts that are air conditioned and well screened.
- Be careful about food and water.
- Avoid tap water, ice cubes.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before eating and preparing food, if soap and water are not available use alcohol based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- You should only drink boiled or bottled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks.
- Use portable water filters. Filters that has the words "reverse osmosis" written on the label protects against Cryptosporidium (causes gastrointestinal disease with diarrhea).
- Thoroughly wash your hands after you use the bathroom, cough or sneeze.
- Only swim in chlorinated water. Do not swim in freshwater in developing countries.
Learn about water treatment methods through this link http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/water-treatment.htm
For some other types of illness, preventative measures can be taken by making healthy choices in what and where you eat and drink in the countries you visit.
Be sure to thoroughly to wash your hands and feet often and wear proper footwear to prevent you feet from touching the ground in public areas. This would help prevent parasite and bacteria from latching on to and entering a contact point on body .
When you get back home, you should seek medical attention if you are feeling sick. Tell your family doctor your travel history.
World Malaria Day.
It Is estimated that 18% of Malaria deaths occur in just 14 countries. World Malaria Day was establish by the World Health Organization (WHO) Member States to highlight the need to develop commitment for Malaria Prevention and Control.
World Malaria Day for the year 2015 is Saturday, April 25th.
They ask the question "What can Malaria Day Do for You?"
The link, above, will take you to the World Malaria Day homepage. It taught me how serious Malaria is in some country, please take your Malaria medication on your travels.