A lot of time and effort goes into planning a trip. So it’s important
you’re aware of medical risks common to the area you’re traveling
to and take the steps necessary to protect both yourself and your family.
Before you travel, talk to your primary care provider or an expert in travel
medicine about health risks specific to the area you plan to visit. Make
sure all your routine vaccinations are up-to-date. A travel medicine specialist
can give you advice about medicines you need to take with you and special
vaccinations you may need before you travel. These professionals can recommend
the best ways to protect you and your family from illnesses like Zika,
malaria, typhoid fever, yellow fever and hepatitis, among others.
Here are some tips for your next international excursion:
- Make sure you have proof of insurance when you travel. Know what and how
your insurance covers you and your family while away from home.
- Food and water in developing countries might contain bacteria, viruses,
or parasites that could make you sick. Do not drink tap water, drinks
made with tap water or ice made with tap water. Drink bottled water only
and brush your teeth with bottled water. Food and drinks that are generally
safe include steaming-hot foods, fruits that you peel yourself, bottled
drinks, hot coffee or tea, beer, wine or sealed bottled water.
- Do not eat raw or undercooked seafood or meats, unpasteurized dairy products
or anything from a street vendor or market.
- Avoid contact with animals when traveling. Rabies infection of domesticated
dogs and cats is more common in developing countries. All animal bites
and scratches should be taken seriously and require medical attention
for post-exposure treatment.
So if you’re planning a trip abroad don’t take chances with
your health! Make sure your first stop is a visit to your primary care
provider to discuss what precautions and diseases you may need to be aware of.
*Be aware that all medications and vaccinations recommended by your provider
or a travel medicine expert are not 100% preventive. Traveling to developing
countries still presents some degree of risk.