Health Dangers of Traveling to Exotic Destinations

It’s true that many travelers spend a lot more time worrying about their vacation outfit than thinking about travel health precautions. They sit down to plan the itinerary, list the things to pack, and book for accommodations and transportation but they rarely take time to visit the doctor for health consultation or immunization. They spend money shopping on “must-have” items like that high-tech camera that allows you to take underwater photos or a new pair of sunglasses that makes you look good on photos, without considering important things like immunizations or health insurance.

Safety should be your number one priority, particularly if you are traveling to an exotic destination where there are less medical facilities and high risks of contagious diseases. To avoid the scenario of getting sick during your trip, here are the top health dangers to be aware of and safety tips to keep in mind.

Hepatitis B
This refers to a viral infection spread through contact with infected blood. Sharing needles and sexual intercourse are the primary ways to acquire this disease. It is common in Southeast and East Asia and some parts of Africa. If you are traveling to these destinations, it would be a good idea to get a vaccination against this disease to protect yourself fully from it.

Also called locked jaw, tetanus is a spastic paralytic disease caused by a bacterium called clostridium tetani, which releases a toxin in the body. This bacterium is often found in soils and animal feces in different parts of the world. Getting a tetanus shot should be in order if you are going to travel to a remote destination. If you get cut, clean your wound thoroughly with warm soapy water and let it bleed profusely for a few minutes. Afterwards, apply hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin. Be sure to bring these items in your first aid kit.

Typhoid Fever
Typhoid fever, caused by salmonella typhi, is an acute febrile disease that comes with fever, headache and spleen enlargement. Travelers going to Indian subcontinent and in developing countries in Africa, Asia, Central America and South America are at great risk of this fever. This can be acquired through eating unrefrigerated foods.

Yellow Fever
A mosquito-borne disease that can cause severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever, yellow fever commonly occurs in the rural areas of South America and in sub-Saharan Africa. It is imperative to get a vaccination against yellow fever if you are traveling to these places.

Japanese Encephalitis
Another infection brought about by mosquito bite is the Japanese Encephalitis, which is highly prevalent in rural areas of Asia, particularly in China, Japan, Korea, and eastern part of Russia. For this and other mosquito-related diseases, it is important to protect yourself using a natural mosquito repellant. Get one that is free of DEET, which is a toxic additive that can cause harm to your health. Go for those that are free of chemicals and made of natural ingredients.

More Safety Tips For a Trip Abroad:
1. Avoid buying and eating foods sold by street vendors. Eat foods that are hot and cooked thoroughly. Limit intake of raw fruits and vegetables unless you prepared them yourself.

2. Drink safe beverages such as sealed bottled water. Avoid drinking beverages with ice. Don’t drink from tap water if you’re traveling to a remote place.

3. Get vaccinations appropriate to your destination. If the country you’re visiting puts you at risk of Hepatitis B and Yellow Fever, get vaccines for these diseases.

4. Obtain travel insurance. If traveling to places with no medical facilities, ensure that your coverage includes emergency airlift. You never know when you’re going to need it.

Traveling abroad is always an exciting adventure. Just see to it that you take the necessary precautions to avoid the health dangers that can ruin your trip and harm your health.

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