Travel Health Useful Medical Information For Good Health Be

The diseases most commonly seen in​ travellers are diarrhoea,​ malaria (if you​ travel in​ a​ malaria-infested area),​ accidents (when travelling by automobile or​ swimming),​ wound infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

- Diarrhoea is​ caused by contaminated food and drinking-water. you​ must therefore be careful if​ your are travelling in​ poor hygiene conditions.

- in​ order to​ prevent accidents during travelling,​ it's wise to​ apply the​ same precautions as​ those taken at​ home. in​ addition,​ it's very important that all wounds should be thoroughly disinfected in​ order to​ avoid infection.

- Malaria is​ transmitted by mosquitoes,​ so the​ first thing to​ do is​ to​ protect yourself against these mosquitoes.


Many intestinal infections are attributable to​ infections picked up by mouth or​ hands. With a​ little care most of​ these illnesses can be prevented. Hepatitis A,​ typhoid fever,​ polio and cholera still occur in​ countries with poor hygiene,​ but these diseases are easily prevented.

However,​ the​ chance is​ large that you​ will still contract a​ light and/or nondangerous form of​ traveller's diarrhoea. Traveller's diarrhoea always spontaneously clears up after a​ few days,​ but can nevertheless be irritating. And a​ risk to​ your overall and travel health.

In the​ first place measures must be taken against dehydration. Likewise,​ treatment of​ the​ symptoms must be considered in​ order to​ reduce the​ number of​ bowel movements and relieve other symptoms such as​ fever,​ vomiting and stomach cramps. Sometimes a​ more serious form of​ diarrhoea occurs,​ for which specific treatment with antibiotics is​ indicated or​ where hospitalisation or​ fluid replacement appears unavoidable.

- raw vegetables and fruits that you've not peeled yourself
- uncooked or​ unpasteurized dairy products
- insufficiently cooked sea foods (+ Hepatitis a​ !) and meat
- "local meals" which do not smell fresh
- ice-cream bought from street merchants (industrial ice straight from the​ deep-freeze is​ probably safe).

It takes only a​ few basic preventive measures to​ make your trip a​ success : Total prevention of​ traveller's diarrhoea is​ impossible and it's obvious that preventive measures can never be strictly followed at​ all times. But following preventive measures do significantly reduce the​ risk of​ contracting serious diarrhoea: in​ order to​ maintain nice travel health wash your hands before eating and avoid (if possible):

it's very important to​ disinfect drinking-water on​ adventure trips. Total sterilisation of​ drinking water is​ impossible. the​ following measures considerably reduce the​ contamination risk and safeguard your travel health:

Cooked meals should be served hot. the​ place where you​ eat is​ also important. a​ meal taken from a​ stall presents a​ greater risk than a​ meal taken in​ a​ restaurant. Avoid restaurants where there's a​ lot of​ insects.
Avoid tap water and ice-cubes. Bottled water and soft drinks are safe. Watch out for bottle caps that have already been used.

- Boiling the​ water is​ very effective.
- a​ nice alternative is​ chemical disinfection with chlorine drops (e.g. Hadex?,​ Drinkwell chloor?; available in​ sport shops specialized in​ outdoor activities) or​ chlorine tablets (Certisil Combina?; chloramine tablets; available at​ the​ pharmacy). Their effect can be improved by first filtering unclear water. Silver salts (Micropur?,​ Certisil Argento?) are not very suitable to​ disinfect water,​ but they keep disinfected water germ-free for a​ long time.

For adventurous travellers conscious to​ travel health it's best to​ buy a​ portable water-filter. the​ use of​ antibiotics in​ order to​ prevent diarrhoea before it​ occurs can be dangerous + Also the​ use of​ other preventive medications is​ not recommended.

. How to​ treat diarrhoea?

it's very important to​ consume sufficient liquid and salt in​ order to​ prevent dehydration. you​ can do this by taking salt solutions,​ but tea with lemon,​ broth,​ soft drinks and fruit juice,​ supplemented with salt crackers are tastier. Commercial salt products are available on​ the​ market (ORS-solution).

Antibiotics are indicated :

Taking an​ anti-diarrhoea preparation (loperamide,​ e.g. Imodium?) can greatly reduce the​ number of​ bowel movements,​ with a​ considerable reduction of​ the​ complaints as​ a​ result. Imodium? may only be used by adults and older children and only for treating ordinary watery diarrhoea: 1 capsule after every loose movement up to​ a​ maximum of​ 4 per day.

1. if​ blood,​ mucus or​ pus are present in​ the​ stools.
2. if​ after 24 to​ 48 hours,​ there is​ no sign of​ improvement and the​ diarrhoea is​ accompanied by fever (above 38.5 C) or​ severe abdominal cramps,​ or​ if​ there's over six stools per 24 hours and when these also occur at​ night.
3. or​ if​ because of​ travel circumstances a​ quicker solution is​ absolutely desirable . Appropriate antibiotics are only to​ be used on​ doctor's prescription


Casual sexual contacts tend to​ be higher while on​ holiday abroad. Sexually transmitted diseases,​ particularly AIDS,​ form therefore an​ important risk for travellers. often unintentional and unsafe sexual contact takes place under alcohol influence. Prevention while on​ holiday abroad is​ no different from the​ precautions you​ take at​ home. Adequate use of​ a​ condom,​ preferably bought at​ home,​ is​ absolutely essential. Only a​ water-soluble lubricant should be used,​ but it​ only offers a​ partial guarantee (e.g. KY gel). Vaccination against hepatitis B is​ advised. Always consult your doctor if​ you​ reckon you're at​ risk,​ even when there's no symptoms.

¡¤ MALARIA (swamp fever,​ malaria)

The symptoms include attacks of​ fever,​ but can initially be similar to​ influenza. if​ adequate treatment is​ not started in​ time,​ an​ attack may sometimes result in​ death within a​ few days.

Malaria is​ an​ infectious disease caused by a​ parasite (called Plasmodium) transmitted by the​ bite of​ the​ Anopheles mosquito. there's two different types of​ which Malaria falciparum is​ the​ most dangerous and the​ most widespread. the​ incubation period - the​ time between an​ infecting bite and the​ appearance of​ the​ disease - varies from ten days to​ two weeks (rarely several months).

Malaria only occurs in​ those areas in​ which Anopheles mosquitoes are present : in​ the​ tropics and in​ a​ large number of​ subtropical areas. From a​ height of​ 1.500 to​ 2.500 m onwards,​ depending on​ temperature and climate,​ Anopheles mosquitoes are either rare or​ non-existent.

. Where does malaria occur?

Risk also exists in​ the​ suburbs of​ the​ big cities in​ Asia (e.g. in​ India). in​ a​ few of​ areas the​ risk varies according to​ the​ season.

In most big cities there is​ little or​ no risk at​ all of​ infection,​ except in​ Africa where a​ real risk exists.

. How can malaria be prevented?

it's very important for travel health to​ avoid mosquito bites : the​ Anopheles mosquito only bites between dusk and dawn,​ is​ small and not very makes any noise.

Non containing DEET repellents were less examined; Autan-Active. and Mosegor. are however excellent safe products.

- in​ the​ evening wear light-coloured clothing which covers your arms and legs as​ much as​ possible. Apply repellent cream with a​ DEET basis (20 to​ 50%,​ for children and pregnant women preferably 20 to​ 30%) to​ the​ uncovered parts of​ your body. Repeat this every two to​ six hours (it won't protect you​ all night).

If these measures are carried out correctly,​ the​ risk of​ malaria will be reduced by 80 to​ 90% and travel health is​ maintained

- Sleep in​ rooms that leave no access to​ mosquitoes,​ (mosquito nets on​ the​ sills,​ electrically-warmed anti-mosquito plates,​ air-conditioning) or​ sleep under a​ mosquito net impregnated with permethrine or​ deltamethrine hung over the​ bed with the​ edges tucked under the​ mattress.

. the​ intake of​ pills as​ prevention

there is​ no drug efficient to​ prevent malaria 100%,​ which means that often a​ combination of​ measures is​ preferable. Also the​ drugs used have changed over the​ years. Moreover,​ the​ advantages and disadvantages of​ drugs should be considered against the​ risk of​ malaria infection. These risks are dependent on​ the​ visited country,​ and on​ the​ region,​ the​ season,​ the​ duration of​ your stay and the​ kind of​ trip.

Therefore it's the​ doctor who can best decide for each individual which drug to​ use. This explains why individuals from the​ same group may end up taking different drugs.

Some people might be troubled by the​ side effects while taking antimalarial drugs. These are usually mild and are not always a​ reason to​ stop taking the​ pills. Sometimes it​ may be necessary to​ alter to​ another type of​ medication due to​ intestinal problems,​ allergic reactions or​ other intolerance symptoms.

Finally,​ as​ no drug is​ 100% effective in​ preventing malaria,​ it's important that if​ an​ attack of​ fever occurs in​ the​ first three months after your return from the​ tropics,​ a​ malaria infection should be considered as​ a​ possibility despite the​ correct use of​ the​ drug prescribed.

However,​ it's reassuring to​ know that malaria,​ provided it's recognised in​ time,​ is​ easy to​ treat without any danger of​ recurrent attacks. the​ belief that "once malaria always malaria" is​ untrue.

You can find even more travel health tips in​ the​ next pages:
Travel Health Useful Medical Information For Good Health Be Travel Health Useful Medical Information For Good Health Be Reviewed by Henda Yesti on August 24, 2018 Rating: 5

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