7 necessary things to prevent illness when traveling
1. Before traveling
Depending on the country you want to travel to, the embassy will designate a health unit and vaccination for you. You will need to update your vaccination schedule as there may be repeated immunizations such as diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles and mumps.
If you go to North America, you may need vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, meningococcal disease and typhoid. Vaccination against yellow fever is necessary if it reaches some sub-Saharan Africa, Central Africa, and South America. Meningococcal vaccine before going to Saudi Arabia is a necessity. In addition, there will be requests for vaccinations for children, the elderly, people with immunodeficiency, pregnant or lactating women.
2. Malaria prevention
Malaria is a serious disease spread by mosquito bites. It usually occurs in tropical and subtropical areas. Symptoms of the disease are like flu and anemia, which can cause high fever, chills.
If you go to the malaria endemic area, you need to know and take preventive measures against mosquito bites and preventive medicine. Drugs are taken first, during the trip, and later on.
3. Zika virus prevention
Symptoms of Zika infection include fever, joint pain, rash, and red eyes (conjunctivitis). Prior to 2015, the Zika virus was found mainly in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Today it has spread many other states and countries such as Brazil and Central America.
To avoid getting Zika, prevent mosquito bites. Using a condom or not having sex with an infected person. Zika can transmit from mother to child. Now, Zika vaccine is not available.
4. Preventing insect bites
Apply insect repellent when you go out. Common medications include DEET and picaridin. Some insecticides are oils of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), PMD, and IR3535. You must sleep in mosquito net, or in covered areas. Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, especially at dusk and night.
5. Eating and drinking clean
You may be infected by eating contaminated water, or undercooked food. Be careful or stay away from: unsafe street food; raw fruits and vegetables have not been rinsed; unpasteurized dairy products; contaminated water. You should only drink cooked water, bottled beverages, tea and coffee. Do not use ice unless it is made from pure water.
Wash your hands often with soap, or alcohol-based cleaners. Do not stand by or swim in rivers, streams, water pools with sewage or animal dung.
7. When to seek medical attention
Diarrhea, colds, sore throats... are common and rapidly disappear with common medications. Before traveling, you should go to your own doctor to ask for essential medicines.
Get to the nearest medical facility if you have any of the following: diarrhea, high fever or dehydration, unexplained fatigue. If you are traveling with malaria, immediately after you return you will need to see a doctor.
By: Mithrine Smith