8 common International Travel Health problems most travelers are at high risk

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Moving to far places needs many preparations to help you adapting with the new atmosphere, climate, altitude, people and environment. Today we will discuss how to do that to enjoy a safe travel journey.

1- Motion Sickness

Have you ever experienced one of the motion sickness symptoms while traveling abroad a cruise ship, boat, airplane or even a car?

How to manage motion sickness, if you are a person at risk?

Most individuals who face such problems while traveling may have encountered them before and know in advance what works for them under most circumstances.

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Dimenhydrinate and Meclizine are over the counter medications that have withstood the test with time, work well for a variety of persons, and can be taken in anticipation of need.

Scopolamine Transdermal Patch can be applied only once every 72 hours and still maintain effective delivery of medication and specially useful if long periods of motion-induced nausea, such as might occur abroad ship, will be encountered.

Influenza Vaccine recommended for travelers boarding cruise ships

Even if traveling in spring or summer, individuals should consider getting influenza vaccine, if they did not receive it during the prior winter.

This is important because influenza outbreaks have occurred during the off season on ships that bring together persons from around the world, including southern hemisphere, where the flu season occurs during the months considered summer in the northern hemisphere.

2- Altitude Sickness

persons who usually live at lower altitudes may encounter serious problems when venturing to mountains areas or other higher elevations, especially if periods of long walking or other exertion may be required.

Such problems range from a mild or moderate headache, and difficulty sleeping to acute pulmonary or even cerebral edema.

How to enjoy your high altitude trip if you are a person of high risk altitude sickness?

Whenever possible, try to acclimate to the higher altitude slowly over a period of several days through gradual ascent. When this is not possible, use of prophylactic agents such as Acetazolamide may be considered. These medications maybe started 1 to 2 days before the ascent, and are usually maintained for 24 to 48 hours after arrival at the final altitude.

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3- Travelers Diarrhea

Known as Montezuma’s Revenge in some regions. It can be serious, but no need to prophylactic treatment with antibiotics because it is likely to develop organisms resistance. Moreover, the immediate use of medications such as Ciprofloxacin usually dramatically limits the duration of the illness. In some cases and areas, there are Ciprofloxacin-resistant bacteria, and Azithromycin may be provided. Loperamide may also be added for more acute or distressing symptoms.

4- Insects Bites

It is recommended to prevent insects bites by wearing appropriate clothing, using bed nets, and using approved insecticides whenever it is possible. Appropriate clothing may include permethrin-sprayed clothing, long sleeved tops, and closed-toe shoes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved 4 formulations of insecticides as being protective. Those include DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535. Travelers should be ensure applying insecticide after applying any sunscreen for well protection.

5- Food and Water Risks

“Don’t drink the water is an often-heard warning for persons traveling to developing countries. Although it is a good start for protection, the warning needs to be extended for the maximum. Here are some small tips to do that:

  • The safest beverages are carbonated drinks.
  • The safest food which is thoroughly cooked and hot served.
  • The safest fruit is what can be peeled.
  • The safest food should be canned and water should be bottled.
  • Check the seals of purchased water and don’t drink any water from a bottle that appears to have been tempered with.
  • Don’t use the running water for teeth brush. Instead, leave a bottle of water in the bathroom.

Whenever bottled water is not available, you can disinfect water by heat. check other methods like filtration, chlorine, iodine and ultraviolet light in the CDC Yellow Book.

6- Malaria

Appropriate use of insect repellents and barriers such as window screens, and mosquito nets are appropriate preventive measures, as well as treatment includes the use of medication in the form of chloroquine, mefloquine, atovaquone/proguanil, and doxycycline that suppress the red blood cell stage of the disease but can not completely eradicate all types of malaria. Check malaria medical treatment.

For that reason, people returning from the tropics who develop any symptoms such as fever, chills, or sweats after completing prophylaxis should be evaluated for malaria.

7- Animals

Feeding or petting dogs or cats not known to be immunized against rabies is not advised when traveling in countries where rabies is present. Any animal bite from a mammal should be evaluated by a medical practitioner, including consideration of the need for rabies treatment. Snake bites should be evaluated by a medical practitioner to determine the need for antivenom.

8- Swimming

Travelers should avoid swimming in unchlorinated water except giving fresh water or saltwater area to avoid skin, eye, ear and systemic infections ranging from Schistosomiasis to leptospirosis.

Hope this information help you in your next travel journey. I welcome you to share your thoughts in a comment and don’t miss Vaccines recommended for International Travelers

Published by medniche

A group of Healthcare professionals, looking forward a safe world and a healthier life for all.

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