When you travel solo or for a long period of time when it is very important to take your health and well being seriously. Nothing can end a trip as fast as not looking after yourself. In theory your health shouldn’t be any more at risk as if you were at home but of course depending on where you go the risks might well increase.
However by taking a few extra precautions and of course having travel or medical insurance will prepare you well for any health issues that may come up.
In this guide we are going to take a look at whole subject of travel health to help you prepare for the big trip of a life time.
Health Issues and desease that are common when travelling
Don’t be put off by the following list, most travellers have a healthy time abroad but it pays to be aware of potential issues!
Various individuals from different walks of life do travel every day. Some people are into traveling at local places while others prefer exploring beautiful views and tourist spots of other continents. However, both of the two types of traveling you’d go for, you only need to make sure of one thing and it’s your safety.
We all call for a safety travel. That is not our wants or needs, that our right. We all have the right for a safe trip as we pay for it, and that’s what the law stated. If you happen to be a traveler, it is best that you are aware about the safety precautions of traveling.
As you know, parasite infestation could take place anywhere, especially if proper sanitation is not being practiced. In the aircraft seats, it is possible that head lice from a passenger who have been infested by the said parasite will transfer to another passenger. This kind of parasite has all the capability to spread their kind from one host to another. It is why all Aircraft Company is advised to practice proper sanitation, and to constantly sterilize all their equipments inside the aircraft.
Airliners should not neglect the importance of applying residual insecticide every time it’s needed. This practice is known as disinfection, which is used to stop importation or invasion of parasite like mosquitoes, head lice and some other harmful insects.
Similar to some other major diseases, Malaria is also affecting millions of individuals all over the world and 90% of those are from Africa. Malaria is caused by a parasite known as Plasmodium that is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. After the bite took place, the parasites attack the liver and then infect the human red blood cells.
The symptoms of Malaria include:
* Vomiting which take place between 10 to 15 days after the bite
If you want to prevent the spread of Malaria you can also perform some methods like:
* Protecting the individuals in the area where Malaria is endemic.
* The utilization of prophylactic drugs
* Mosquito eradication
* Preventing yourself from mosquito bites
* When staying indoors, use some insecticides to control the vector of mosquitoes.
* The utilization of insecticidal nets might help to and this is applicable to those people who are having health issues.
Since the spread of Malaria seems to be uncontrollable, the University of Pennsylvania geneticists, in collaboration with an international team of scientists, have created a new picture of one way that the human genome has fought back. This international team was headed by Sarah Tishkoff, a Penn Integrates Knowledge professor with appointments in the genetics department in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and the biology department of biology in the School of Arts and Sciences, and Wen-Ya Ko, a postdoctoral fellow in the genetics department at the medical school. Together they did a genetic analysis of 15 ethnic groups across Africa, looking for gene variants that could explain differing local susceptibility to malaria.
On the other hand, Researchers from the University of Copenhagen also discovered VAR2CSA, which enable malaria parasites to accumulate in the placenta and therefore can be potentially used as the main component in a vaccine to trigger antibodies that defend pregnant women against malaria.
A growing number of Calgarians who travel abroad are coming home with malaria, according to a new University of Calgary study that suggests fewer residents are taking the right steps to ward off the tropical disease.If you are looking this kind of content, you have come to the right place.
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According to the study, Calgary saw 295 laboratory-confirmed imported malaria cases between 2000 and 2011. Of those cases, less than 25 per cent of those infected sought medical advice before travelling, and just 60 per cent who did seek information from health professionals took preventive treatment.
“Calgarians can get malaria if travelling to affected regions. The good news is malaria can be prevented if the right precautions are taken,” says Dr. Dylan Pillai, senior author on the study and member of the U of C’s Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases.
If you do fall ill then make sure you have the best travel insurance cover you can afford.
“There are very effective drugs available to both prevent and treat the illness, provided it is accessed within a timely fashion.”
Respiratory infection is one of the major diseases that attack people in the past and up to the present. According to research, some of the major respiratory infections are primarily cause by traveling. As we know, respiratory illnesses are generally airborne which means, the virus from infected person might transfer to another person due to air circulation.
During the travel period, the re-circulation of air in the aircraft is continuous; however it is not yet proven to be the main reason of passengers being infected with bacteria and virus that cause respiratory infections, as aircrafts do use effective filters for virus removal.
As explained, most respiratory infections of aircraft passengers are largely cause by long hours of exposure to another passenger who is suffering from major respiratory illness. This is also one of the most reasons why airlines do not allow infected passengers to take flight.
Another thing to keep in mind is, traveling with people from countries that are proven to be infected with major respiratory illness like tuberculosis. Therefore, if you are into travelling make sure to be extra careful. Defend your health as that’s all you got to have that happy life.
Travelling with Asthma?
Asthma, throughout the world, is affecting more and more people and is becoming endemic in many areas. Going abroad can add stress when it comes to being asthmatic and its important to be well prepared as the asthmatic traveller.
Asthma is easily treatable these days but can still be potentially very dangerous too.
Travel can increase the triggers of asthma
The unfortunate thing about asthma and travel is often the two can go hand in hand. Basically travel itself and being overseas can increase your exposure to the triggers of asthma.
Cold, damp, air pollution, cigarette smoke, air conditioning and most under-rated anxiety. Examples of places where you might travel and have problems would be like a Third World city like Bangkok (air pollution and dust), smoke from forest burning (such as Indonesia) and pollen emitting flora (such as places like Australia that has high counts of pollen and asthma).
Knowing when you have asthma and how to deal with it
If you feel wheezy and its coming from the chest area then there is a good chance you have asthma, particularly if you have been diagnosed with it. Mild symptoms include a tight chest, wheezing and a dry cough and these can usually be treated easily with use of a ventolin inhaler.
Severe symptons can include breatheing difficulties and inability to count up to ten aloud. Hospital emergency room treatment may be needed if the patient doesn’t show any signs of recovery.
Being prepared for travel with asthma
– The number one thing to do before you travel or go on holiday is to go to your GP and seek specific country advice that could have an impact on your asthma. Along with this you should stock up on necessary inhalers so you have more than you need. Ventolin is usually available most places abroad but you should always carry more than you need because the chances of you losing them will be higher.
– Keep monitoring your peak flow even when you are on holiday and maintain correct usuage of your inhalers (ask doctor or nurse to watch you take your inhaler so you are doing it right).
– Carry some dog-tag type id if you suffer from severe asthma, with medical notes and medication such as sterioids. Having this in the language of the country you are visiting is useful too.
Best advice is to relax and enjoy your travels and not let asthma put you off going somewhere, particularly if you onlu suffer from mild cases.
Dengue Fever is another Arbovirus infection that only involves human and mosquitoes. This illness is rampant in Africa, South East Asia, Pacific area and Northern South America.
The spread of disease vary from person to person after a bite of infected mosquitoes happened. After five days of incubation period, patients will experience fever, headache, severe joint pain and muscle pain.
Some Symptoms of Dengue Fever but not limited to
Recurrence of fever from three to five days
Appearance of a rush
Appearance of small white spots from trunk to limbs and face
Since there is no specific medication for Dengue, patients are advised to take paracetamol and oral rehydration.
Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted by a bite of a mosquito that came from Aedes Aegypti species. As discovered, yellow fever is a disease of monkeys in tropical rain forest of Equatorial Africa and Central South America.
The virus that cause yellow fever comes from group of viruses known as arboviruses which can basically transmit to human after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Characteristic Phases of Arbovirus Illnesses include
When virus invades the host cells
And when the body’s immune system fights against the infection after a few days. This phase can cause damage to blood vessels thus bleeding might take place.
South Africa has joined many other countries to insist on a yellow fever certificate if a traveler has come from a country where it is endemic.
From October 1, international travellers stopping over in South Africa – even in transit – on their way home from Zambia or any other yellow fever-endemic countries will be required to show proof of vaccination against the disease.
Under the new regulations, South Africa will refuse entry to foreign visitors who cannot show an international certificate or a valid medical waiver letter on arrival, or place them in quarantine.
The quarantine will last until the certificate becomes valid (10 days after vaccination), or for six days. It is not clear where the quarantine period would be spent: most likely a hotel room paid for by the traveller.
SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is endemic in countries like:
Travellers are advised to take extra precautions when going to the countries where SARS is very rampant. In fact on the 2 nd of April 2003, the Department of Health advised to be extra careful when traveling to Hong Kong and Guangdong Province in Southern China as these are the places where SARS was originated. When travelling to the mentioned places make sure that you bring your insurance to cover your medical care.
Symptoms of SARS include:
High fever Headache Muscle aches Respiratory symptoms such as: Cough Sore throat Shortness of breath Difficulty in breathing SARS virus transmits from an infected person to another if they have close contact. The paramyxo virus that causes SARS is the same virus that cause measles and mumps but recently determined as a member of the coronavirus family that is not seen in humans.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterium that causes pulmonary tuberculosis and is evident in many solo travel destinations . The primary area which is highly affected by this disease is the lungs however the infection can also spread in other organs. Tuberculosis is characterized by enlargement of granulomas (granular tumours) in the infected tissues. Tuberculosis is common all over the world than in the UK and usually affect the children especially those who haven’t previously vaccinated and had exposed to the disease. This type of illness can be acquired or developed in the following forms: Inhaling droplets sprayed into the air from a cough or sneeze of an infected person Can also spread through through infected sputum Or from a milk of infected cows Poor nutrition Poor sanitation Hereditary Treatment for Tuberculosis requires proper and religious medication. However this disease can also be prevented by doing the following: Avoiding overcrowded places in endemic areas
Legionnaires Disease is a rigorous infection caused by bacterium Legionella Pneumophila. This disease is also a form of pneumonia. It occurs all over the world and generally found in contaminated water used in water cooled air-conditioning systems and sometimes in showers. Legionella multiply its number in warm and stagnant water found in: Plumbing system Hot water tanks Cooling towers Evaporative condensers of large conditioning systems Whirlpool spas A person may be infected by Legionnaires disease after an exposure to the mentioned sources of Legionella. It affects people of any age; however the most common victims are middle-aged and older people especially those who smoke.
Symptoms of Legionnaires Disease
- Muscle pain
- Loss of appetite
- Occasional diarrhea
The antibiotics that can treat Legionnaires Disease are Erythromycin and Rifampicin.
All types of minor and major illness if not being promptly treated will not only worsen the patients condition but might even cause death. This is the same with typhoid fever, thus as early as possible patients that suffer from this kind of disease must receive appropriate treatment immediately. Just like some other diseases, typhoid fever can also be cure through antibiotics. However, it might require medical supervision. On the other hand, if you want to travel to some places where typhoid fever exists, what you needed the most is to perform two things like: Staying away from risky food and drinks as they might contain a typhi bacterium that causes typhoid fever. Obtain vaccinations against typhoid fever.
The two tips mentioned must be applied together in order to ensure safety travel as well as to avoid other illnesses such travelers’ diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis A. keep in mind that prevention is better than cure. One of the most dangerous illnesses that travelers will most likely to get affected with is typhoid fever. It is a life-threatening disease brought by the bacterium salmonella typhi. As reported typhoid fever is a very common disease in some developing countries and has approximately affect 12.5 million populations in each year. Some countries like United Kingdom, Western Europe, USA, Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand are not really affected with this kind of disease as they are taking advance precautions against the bacteria that might cause the said disease. Patients with typhoid fever need medical opinion and blood examinations to be able to fight the illness with insurance
As explained, this kind of disease transmits from a person infected with typhi bacteria through food and water. More often typhoid fever is acquired in areas where people seldom wash their hands before and after they eat. Antibiotics like ampicillin or ciprofloxacin are some of the effective treatment for typhoid fever however they should be given under the supervision of medical practitioner. Generally, patients with typhoid fever when treated with antibiotics recovered from 2 to 3 days, thus death seldom happens. If treatment has not been done, patients might be in a fatal condition.
Insects are present everywhere as they have the capability to survive in any sort of environment. They are strong enough to survive whether in hot or cold areas. Most species of insects are parasitic which depend with the host. One of their skills is that they are able to prey off other species involving humans.
Their bite can leave sting to skin and in serious cases it can even cause fatal effects like major illnesses. Insects such as mosquitoes and sand-flies do not just leave sting when they bite, they can also transmit minor and major diseases that can even lead to death if not treated promptly. Other insects like bees, wasps, and ants leave stings that are quite painful and harmful. In some cases, a number of stings by insects mentioned can lead to serious illnesses and even direct toxicity.
West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus is common in Africa, West Asia, Middle East and United States. When a mosquito infected by west nile virus bite a human being, the virus slowly circulates in the blood and may spread after a few days. As stated, there are at least 36 species of mosquitoes that carries West Nile Virus and the most common carriers is Culex pipiens that are found in the United States. Usually the incubation period of West Nile Virus is from 3 to 14 days with symptoms of mild disease that might last in a few days. A person being infected with this virus will suffer illnesses known as West Nile encephalitis, West Nile meningitis or West Nile meningoencephalitis. Mild symptoms of a person infected with West Nile Virus may include:
- Fever Headache Body pain Skin rashes Swollen lymph glandsSevere infections include:
- Headache High fever Neck stiffness Stupor Disorientation Coma Tremors Convulsions Muscle weakness ParalysisThere is no specific cure for West Nile Virus however, intensive supportive therapy which involves hospitalization, intravenous fluids, airway management, respiratory support, and good nursing care are recommended.
Jaws cannot compete with mosquitos. Mosquitos are deemed the most lethal animal pic.twitter.com/FWiyRIkIjS
— Ian Urbina (@ian_urbina) July 13, 2015
Japanese encephalitis virus
This disease is transmitted by mosquitoes (Culex Group) infected with Japanese encephalitis virus, which mainly come from rice fields. The normal incubation period is from 5 to 15 days and this illness cannot transmit from one person to other. There’s no specific treatment to this, only therapy. However, vaccination is now available in the UK. Always take out good travel and holiday insurance whenever you go overseas.
Symptoms of this illness includes:
TBE that is cause by tick-born encephalitis virus which is a member of family flaviviridae, is a kind of viral illness that affects the central nervous system and frequently manifests as meningitis, encephalitis and sometimes can be pre-determined as meningoencephalitis.
It is endemic in most European countries as well as in Asia and Soviet Union. Commonly rodents and deer are the natural host of Trick-borne encephalitis virus or TBEV, and humans are just accidental ones.
The most common victims of TBE are people who are into outdoors activities like hunting, hiking, camping, farming, etc. Usually the incubation period of TBE is between 7 and 14 days.
Symptoms of TBE may include but not limited to:
TBE is common in adults than children. Similar to other illnesses, TBE doesn’t have a specific treatment but it requires hospitalization and supportive care.