With summer pending, you may be fully immersed in your holiday preparations. Remember that, for certain destinations, it requires an extra level of planning.
Have you considered your pre-travel vaccinations? Are there any other special precautions needed (eg: anti-malaria measures?)
Before travelling overseas, seek advice from a specialist clinic about which vaccines and other protection are recommended for the areas that you will be visiting.
You’ll also have the opportunity to discuss other important travel-related health risks and whether you require any boosters for your previous vaccinations.
Here are some health risks you may need to consider and how to protect yourself:
This infection has caused more deaths around the world than any other illness and it is carried by the bite from a specific type of mosquito.This insect is prevalent in certain parts of the world.
There are measures you can take to protect yourself when travelling to these areas, including using the correct insect repellent and sleeping inside a mosquito net.
There are medications that can prevent illness if you are bitten by an infected mosquito but you need to discuss this with a specialist clinic to make sure you are taking the right ones as there is resistance to some of them across different regions.
Click here to read more about protecting yourself from this life-threatening condition.
Because rabies has been eradicated in the UK it is easy to forget to take extra care when we come into contact with animals abroad.
Even a lick from an animal infected with rabies has the potential to transmit the infection.
Rabies, like many other tropical diseases, can be very prevalent in some countries overseas and is still responsible for more than 59,000 deaths each year.
This fatal infection can be prevented by vaccination and quick action to clean the wound after a bite.
Click here to read more about rabies and how to protect yourself.
Sunburn / sunstroke:
It may seem obvious but lots of people still experience severe burns and become very ill on holiday because of the sun.
We know that the adverse effects of sun damage can manifest much later in life.
It is therefore really important to make sure you use adequate sun protection and keep well hydrated.
Click here to learn more about sun protection.
What else can I do to protect myself and my family?
Wherever you are travelling it is important to find out which diseases exist at your holiday destination and what preventative measures can be taken.
Click here to find out about the travel clinic at Pinches Medical and Wellbeing.
For specific advice check with a travel clinic, but there are some general tips to help avoid illness on holiday:
- Plan your pre-travel vaccines – fortunately, most diseases abroad are vaccine-preventable. Ensure that you leave enough time before you travel to have the full course of treatment, so you are fully protected.
- Avoid food poisoning – drink only sealed, bottled water; decline ice in drinks; eat only fully cooked food from a known source; and avoid street food where hygiene may be in question.
- Rehydrate if you become unwell – if you do not have rehydration sachets with you there are online recipes made from readily available ingredients such as soda, salt and lime juice.
- Avoid contact with animals – it is important for medical practitioners to assess any bite, scratch or lick from an animal overseas.
- Consider travel insurance with good health cover as this can give you access to emergency medical care.
Make sure any children you are travelling with are up to date with their usual childhood vaccinations that they have been offered as part of the routine NHS vaccination programme.
The risks of some illnesses they need to be protected from may be even greater in other countries.
Click here to find out more about the childhood vaccinations offered at Pinches Medical & Wellbeing.
Planning ahead for your trip should always include planning for your health. Avoiding illness can make it a holiday to remember for all the right reasons!