They say that ignorance is bliss, but when it comes to travelling abroad, ignorance might just kill you. If you are unaware of the various nasties that might be awaiting you in the destination you are heading to, you won’t take adequate protection.
If you’re heading to the tropics, or anywhere in the less developed world, you should be aware of the various diseases that might cause a sudden end your holiday, and possibly even your life. In this article we are going to bring you up to speed with 10 travel diseases that you need to be aware of before you travel, so you can take precautions and get the correct vaccinations.
Malaria is probably one of the most infamous travel diseases. You have almost certainly heard of it, and you should check if you’re heading to an area which has malaria. Fortunately, there are several medications which can be prescribed by your doctor which will protect you against malaria while you are travelling abroad. BUT they must be taken well in advance of your trip
When you hear that a disease doesn’t have a vaccination, this might make you more concerned. If you do feel ill with flu like symptoms for a few days on holiday, make sure you go to the hospital, especially if you’re in an area that has dengue fever, as you might have contracted the disease. Fortunately, fatalities are rare, especially with adequate treatment. Don’t sit in your hotel if you feel ill, seek medical attention, and make sure you’re adequately insured to pay for any healthcare.
Fortunately, much of the world is cholera free. However, if you are heading toAfrica, then you do stand a real chance being exposed to this disease. Fortunately, there is a vaccination, so you should make sure you receive this before you go. If cholera remains untreated, it can be deadly, but fortunately, with treatments the disease has an excellent survival rate.
Rabies is a disease that you can get from exposure to animals. If you’re in a country which is known to have rabies, and you are scratched or bitten by an animal, you should seek medical treatment without hesitation. Rabies is an unusual disease because if you seek treatment, which involves a series of injections, this is almost 100 percent effective. However, if the disease becomes symptomatic, it is 100 percent fatal. Once you have been bitten or scratched, you should seek medical treatment within 24 hours maximum.
You might think it strange that this makes it into a list of fatal diseases, but as with many conditions, if it remains untreated it can be very risky. Traveller’s diarrhoea is a much more intense form of diarrhoea then you might be used to, and treatments for this will involve intense hydration. Hospitalisation is often required in some of the worst cases, but again, with adequate treatment, this disease is almost always survivable.
Fortunately, yellow fever is only seen in Africa, and some parts ofLatin America. This is a disease that has a vaccination, and you should make sure you get this before you leave home.
This disease is relatively uncommon, but if you are spending a large amount of time outside in Asia orAustralasia, you should consider this vaccination. Ask your doctor for further advice about whether he believes this is necessary.
You’ve probably heard of this, because it is a risk at home, as well as abroad. If you are heading to parts ofAfrica, the risk is amplified, so consider getting a vaccination before you leave.
Remember, this disease is not just spread through sexual contact, but is often given through blood transfusions. If you are receiving treatment in a hospital in the developing world, be very cautious about what blood you accept, and always make sure fresh needles are used. There is no such thing as too much caution when it comes to AIDS.
Again, another disease that you’ll probably also find at home. Make sure that your vaccination for tetanus is up-to-date before you leave. You should also make sure that any wounds you get abroad are kept clean and hygienic.