January 08, 2019

Travel is essential to many people; however, different environments can wreak havoc on one’s body if not immune to germs in those areas. WorldAware intelligence experts weigh in on recommendations to stay healthy while traveling.


Visit a Travel Medicine Specialist

If a trip is planned, one will ideally schedule a visit to a medical travel specialist four to six weeks before the departure date. The medical professional will know what kind of vaccines to administer and give advice on best practices based on the destination of travel. Vaccines received weeks prior to a trip ensure the recipient has time to develop immunity to certain diseases and any medication will become effective.


Handle Food Properly and Safely


Food and water safety are of utmost importance, especially if traveling to a third world country. Mitigate risk of foodborne illness by following good hygiene practices: wash hands, avoid raw meat dishes or unpasteurized dairy products, check if raw fish or shellfish is undercooked, drink potable or bottled water when possible. Following these tips can protect against many bacteria, viruses, and parasites.


Remember Insect Repellent


Travelers often forget there are different insect species and risk associated with disease when abroad. The most common solution for insect repellent is to apply to exposed skin, especially neck, wrists, and ankles, with a product containing DEET. Effectiveness varies based on the product as well as climate. An additional hint is to apply to clothing as well, if outside for a long period of time and reapply frequently.

When in remote areas, individuals should dress in long sleeves, light-colored clothing, and boots to protect against common insects such as mosquitoes, sandflies, and ticks. Always check for ticks on body and belongings before heading indoors. People can stay indoors during peak hours of insect biting, such as night time for malaria-carrying mosquitoes


Avoid Destinations During Peak Infection Season

People who have the option to travel when disease is least prevalent should take that opportunity. For example, don’t plan to travel to destinations where epidemics have been occurring, such as a measles or Ebola outbreak. Known areas where Zika is present should be avoided by pregnant women. If one does not have the option of picking a destination, take precautions while in the area.


Practice Common Prevention

To stay healthy from minor bumps and bruises, always pack a travel kit stocked with band-aids, ointment, over-the-counter pain and anti-diarrheal medicine, and contact information of local health centers. Check all travel health notices before heading to a destination. Also make sure to learn how to safely travel internationally with your medications.


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