Dr Shreya Singhal is at present working towards as a junior physician and Educational Basis Trainee working in West London, in addition to being a eager backpacker. She has labored in Infectious Ailments and Common Follow and has shared her prime ideas for individuals seeking to journey this summer season.
Plenty of individuals might be travelling overseas this 12 months. I’ve written this weblog as a useful information on find out how to journey safely and minimise dangers to your well being, the following tips might be utilized by these setting off for an journey of a lifetime or these simply searching for per week of summer season sunshine.
The dangers to your well being differ relying on the kind of journey you’re occurring – so whether or not you’re off for per week of sunbathing or taking a lengthier backpacking journey, it’s value being ready. It’s necessary to check your destination earlier than you journey and be ready by staying updated with the most recent outbreaks and occasions.
Earlier than you journey
Earlier than you journey, it’s important to make sure you are updated together with your UK vaccination schedule, each to your safety and for the good thing about the well being of the these round you.
Many international locations have totally different ailments circulating and a few of these may probably be harmful. It’s attainable to choose up an sickness that we don’t routinely see within the UK, and necessary to keep in mind that some can have critical penalties for weak individuals.
Viruses resembling measles is extra widespread in some components of Africa, Asia and the mainland Europe, so please examine that you’re updated together with your childhood vaccine schedule.
It’s possible you’ll want further vaccinations and preventative medicines for the international locations you’re visiting. For instance, should you’re visiting components of rural Asia and the Far East Japanese encephalitis could also be a danger , and the vaccination could also be advisable.
There are additionally locations the place the rabies vaccination could also be wanted and; for malaria danger areas, you could must take malaria prevention tablets; it’s necessary to remember that some international locations require proof of yellow fever vaccination even when there is no such thing as a danger of an infection.
At all times check your country of travel for recommended vaccinations, overview the NHS Advice on Travel Vaccinations and hold an in depth eye on outbreaks in your country of travel.
For recommendation on vaccinations and preventative medicines, you’ll be able to contact your native journey well being clinic or GP surgical procedure. With most vaccines it’s suggested you organize your vaccination 4-6 weeks earlier than you arrive at your vacation spot.
Different components to think about
- Your individual underlying well being must be secure earlier than travelling. Carry your personal remedy provides adequate for the size of your journey (e.g. if in case you have bronchial asthma, be sure to carry your inhalers and rescue packs).
- Carry widespread medicines or a small first support package you may want, as you have no idea what medicines/provisions the nation you’re travelling to can have.
- It’s additionally necessary to examine the foundations round utilizing and importing remedy in your goal nation, what is perhaps a typical remedy within the UK may very well be outlawed in one other.
Throughout your journey
Common well being measures
While overseas, particularly in additional distant/rural locations, be thoughtful of hand hygiene, your water provide, meals security, sun exposure, and your sexual well being.
Make sure to pack condoms, suncream and hand sanitiser earlier than you allow and the place attainable drink bottled water and wash your arms with cleaning soap and heat water after utilizing the bathroom and earlier than consuming. For normal recommendation, this helpful blog covers prime ideas for every of those.
It’s extra widespread in some international locations however traveller’s diarrhoea, which ends from consuming unsafe meals/water, is one thing to pay attention to. You may have fairly important fluid loss from this, so should you expertise these signs while travelling, it’s a good suggestion to take numerous relaxation, drink loads of bottled fluids – if attainable topped up with rehydration salts (Should you really feel significantly unwell, search medical consideration while overseas as you could require medical therapy for dehydration).
Specific ailments value being conscious of
Mosquito bites are a specific danger, and may trigger malaria, dengue, chikungunya, amongst many different ailments. Mosquito bite avoidance advice consists of sporting long-sleeved clothes to cowl uncovered pores and skin, utilizing repellents (a minimum of 50% DEET), and mosquito nets.
Suspected malaria is a medical emergency and should be rapidly identified and handled. Should you go to a malaria danger nation, which embrace international locations in massive areas of Africa, Asia and Central and South America, and have a fever, flu-like signs or any uncommon signs throughout or after travelling you will need to get pressing medical consideration. Don’t wait till you come back to the UK in case you are unwell.
Rabies is transmitted by a chunk or scratch from an contaminated animal, normally a canine, and might be deadly if not recognised, or as a result of post-exposure therapy shouldn’t be obtainable.
Keep away from animal bites, and examine should you would profit from a pre-exposure vaccine. All travellers who’ve a attainable publicity to the rabies virus, whether or not by bites, scratches, or different means, ought to search medical recommendation immediately. You will discover full rabies recommendation here.
Sexual well being
Practising safer intercourse while overseas will scale back the danger of STIs and HIV, in addition to infections that unfold by way of shut private contact resembling mpox.
You may scale back your danger through the use of condoms and having an open dialog about HIV, STIs and Mpox earlier than any sexual contact, and keep away from sharing gadgets resembling towels, clothes or bedding with somebody who has mpox or mpox signs.
Mpox is a virus which might be unfold from an contaminated animal to an individual, or by shut private contact with an individual with Mpox or supplies the place an individual has shed the virus.
Signs embrace fever, headache, muscle ache, joint ache, and a rash with scabs which regularly begins on the face then spreads to different components of the physique which may embrace the mouth, genitals and anus (thought of contagious till all scabs fall off and pores and skin is undamaged).
In 2022, there was a global outbreak of mpox throughout greater than 100 international locations, the place mpox was unfold throughout sexual contact, significantly amongst males who’re homosexual, bisexual or have intercourse with different males, and a few international locations are nonetheless reporting new infections.
These in danger, together with those that have been involved with somebody who has mpox, might be able to get the mpox vaccination. Extra info might be discovered here.
When you have had condomless intercourse while overseas, get your self examined for STIs earlier than having intercourse with anybody else – depending on where you live you could possibly get a self-sampling kit or just attend your local sexual health clinic.
Returning to the UK
If you return to the UK, should you really feel unwell, search medical consideration and make sure you inform your healthcare supplier that you’ve got been travelling not too long ago.