Traveling abroad whether on business or for pleasure, it should be an enjoyable experience. However there can be potential health risk to you and your family. With a few simple precautions you can enjoy your journey and travel healthy. Travel website
Depending on where and how you travel, you could be at an increased risk of an infectious travel related disease. Many of these diseases can be prevented by having vaccinations and following travel health advice from your GP or Practice Nurse.
There are vaccinations available for most travel related diseases, therefore is advisable to contact your GP for advice on vaccinations for your travel plan.
When traveling abroad it is strongly advisable to take out adequate medical insurance to cover you and your family in advance. If traveling to EU countries , you will require an E111 form from the Post Office which entitles you to free emergency medical treatment. It is also advisable to check with your insurance that it will cover the cost of air ambulance flights in the event of having to be flown home. Always remember to take copies of your insurance documents and emergency telephone numbers.
If you are on prescription medication, check you have enough to last the duration of your trip and take extra to allow for any delays. Always keep your medication in your hand luggage when flying. Is is also advisable to have well stocked first aid kit, including basic medicines such as pain killers, anti-allergy tablets, anti-diarrhoea medication, also include plasters, dressings, insect repellents, antiseptic cream. Consult your Practice Nurse for further advice.
Protect yourself by covering up as much as possible and using insect repellants from insect bites which can be uncomfortable and painful. Try to keep insects out of your room by using fly sprays or electric repellents before dusk and keep windows closed as much as possible or use a mosquito net to sleep under. Your Practice Nurse will recommend anti-malarial tablets for the protection against mosquito bites.
Air travel can cause dehydration, therefore drink plenty of water and other fluids to help minimize dehydration. Alcohol, coffee or fizzy drinks may make the problem worse, try to avoid them or keep them to the minimum.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Information on DVT is available from most airlines while onboard their aircraft. To help against DVT stand up and walk around the aircraft as much as possible,
Eating & Drinking
In some countries disease like Hepatitis and typhoid can be caught by contaminated food or water. It is advisable to drink, wash and clean your teeth in bottled , boiled or sterilised water. Avoid using ice in your drinks and always try to eat fresh food that has been cooked thoroughly and avoid shellfish, salads and fruits that you have not prepared yourself. As in basic hygiene always wash your hands before meals.
Avoid too much exposure, particularly between 11:00am and 3:00pm, this is when the sun is at its strongest. Use a sun block at least SPF15 and remember to re-apply every couple of hours or if you have been swimming. Wearing hat and sunglasses can help to protect you in bright sunlight. People of fair skin and/or red hair or are aware that you are susceptible to sunstroke or sunburn should take extra care. Increase your intake of fluids to help prevent dehydration. Alcohol can dehydrate your body.
You must tell your GP if you are ill on your return from abroad, as early symptoms of some tropical diseases can mimic common UK illnesses. You may need to continue taking anti-malarial drugs for a period after you arrive home.