Staying Healthy

There can be little worse than falling ill on holiday. When traveling, people are often susceptible to different bugs and diseases. There are a few basic rules that should be followed to reduce the chance of your falling ill whilst on holiday.

Check out the water quality before drinking the local water. Water is usually fairly good in major cities and towns around the world. However, you may be susceptible to local differences, so if you are only traveling to a country for a short while, it may be better to drink bottled water.

In countries with dubious water quality, watch out for ice. Ice is generally made from tap water. Many times people will take care to drink bottled water and cans of drink, only to put ice in the drinks which then makes them ill. Also, peel fruit before eating it as it would have been washed in tap water as well.

Eating from street vendors and markets can be risky. However, if you find a vendor who is popular with the locals, makes his food in front of you and has a fast turnover of food, you can assume that their food is safe

Investigate what inoculations you need before visiting a country.

Be careful of malarial areas. There are a wide variety of malarial prophylactics available. Ensure you take the correct one for the area that you are visiting. In the morning and evening, mosquitoes are at their most prolific. Cover up where possible. Wear long sleeved light shirts and long pants to avoid being bitten. Continue taking your malaria tablets until the course is finished. If you feel flu like symptoms within a few weeks of being in a malarial area, go to your doctor and mention your travels to him.

Another thing to be aware of are various parasites and worms that exist in tropical areas. These minuscule organisms can enter your body through various means and you may be unaware of their presence for many months. In Mexico it is believed that you can rid your body of these parasites by eating very hot chilli!

Depending where you are visiting, it may be a good idea to take a small medical kit with you. If you are travelling into uninhabited wilderness areas think about packing a basic antibiotic, sterile bandages, antiseptic and maybe even a saline drip. But be careful when crossing borders; some countries may not allow you to bring certain substances in. Ask the consulate or embassy for advice.

Be aware of sunburn. The sun can be vicious to skin and excessive sunburn can lead to sunstroke, high temperatures and vomiting. The long term damage to your skin is huge, often resulting in melanomas and cancers. Use suntan cream liberally and frequently. Cover your skin where possible and wear a hat.


Date posted: 30th June, 2011

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