When traveling, whether it be across the state or across the ocean, taking proper health precautions is necessary to assure that you remain safe no matter where you go. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the hub for up-to-date information regarding illnesses, contaminates, disease, food and water safety and insect protection across the globe. Preventing illnesses and staying healthy will make your trip a safe and memorable one.
Making sure to get the proper vaccinations before heading out on a trip is essential in staying healthy. The first step is setting up an appointment with your doctor. Schedule the appointment up to six weeks in advance. This will assure that the vaccination has time to take effect before you leave. Certain countries and the CDC classify vaccinations into certain groups; routine vaccinations, those that are recommended as a precaution and those that are required to safely enter the country or destination area. Vaccinations that are generally required for world travel include those to prevent yellow fever and meningococcal meningitis.
Depending on the time of travel, taking precautions against influenza, or the flu, is recommended. A flu shot may be administered by your family doctor. Certain strains of influenza outbreaks that are widespread in one of the areas you will be traveling through should also be vaccinated against. Avian flu and H1N1 are examples of particular strains of contagious influenza.
Everyone should be protected from disease that can arise in a foreign country, especially if it is communicable and the traveler has a compromised or weakened immune system. Examples of disease that maybe widespread or out of control in certain regions include Chikungunya fever, cholera, hand foot and mouth disease, pertussis, rabies, measles and polio.
Water and Food Borne Illness
There are certain locations where water and food can make someone sick. Starting with water, there are several contaminates and parasites that can invade water sources, especially in developing countries. Examples include giardiasis, amebiasis, protozoa and other types of parasitic helminths. Boiling water or drinking bottled water may be the safest way to avoid getting sick.
Food poisoning can occur in mild or severe cases. Some people may confuse water contamination with food poisoning. The biggest risks for food poisoning include scombroid poisoning from fish, Ciguatera fish poisoning from shellfish and also eating E.coli contaminated or undercooked meat sources. Making sure that all food is cooked and not raw before eating will help assure optimal health.
Packing for Safety
One important travel precaution is to pack for safety. This means bringing along bug repellent, mosquito nets and protective clothing. This will help ward off poisonous insects and prevent the risk of getting infected with malaria. Some insecticides, such as vaporizing mats and mosquito coils, will help keep remote camps mosquito and fly free. It is also necessary to check for ticks as there are several varieties and species on every corner of the planet.
Article Written By Julie Boehlke
Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.