Before you leave:
- Check with Health Service regarding your immunization record.
- Take enough prescription medication for the time you will be gone.
- Medical alert bracelet, if needed.
- Extra glasses or contacts and equipment.
- Check your health insurance for international travel or out of network coverage.
- Avoid direct sunlight between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Use sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or greater.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Wear sunglasses, a hat or other protective clothing when possible.
- If you are on medication, check its potential adverse interaction with the sun.
- In a car, the best place to be in the driver’s seat. Second best is a front window seat.
- On a bus, sit near the front by a window, preferably one that opens.
- On a plane, wheels are the most stable.
- On a boat, try to get a mid-ship cabin close to the waterline.
- There are over the counter medications available to relieve motion sickness. Most should be taken at least half an hour before leaving.
- Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn. (Dengue fever, however, is transmitted by day-biting mosquitoes, primarily in urban areas.)
- Wear good insect repellent containing DEET.
- Reapply insect repellent after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Wear protective clothing such as long sleeve and pants whenever practical.
- Sleep in well-screened areas.
- You can still develop malaria after you leave the endemic area. You must continue with the prescribed medication for four weeks after leaving Malaria areas.
- DON’T SWIM IN FRESH WATER.
- It is common for lakes, rivers and streams in many developing countries to be infected by parasitic larvae.
- These parasites are capable of penetrating the unbroken skin of humans causing serious illness in some cases.
- Don’t swim, wade or walk in slow moving fresh water lakes, rivers, or streams where these parasites are known to occur.
- If this contact is unavoidable, towel dry quickly to prevent the parasite from penetrating the skin.
- Up to 50 percent of travelers contract diarrhea during their trip.
The most common reason is contaminated food and water.
- Consume only canned or commercially bottled carbonated drinks.
- Avoid ice cubes that are not made from purified water.
- Filtration alone is not recommended.
- Brushing teeth should also be done with purified water. If it’s not available, use hot tap water.
- Ensure all food is well cooked – especially meat and seafood.
- Don’t eat leftovers, food from street vendors, or unpasteurized dairy products.
- Never eat raw shellfish.
- Avoid cold cuts, salads, watermelon and puddings.
- Don’t eat canned food if the tin appears “blown” or “swollen.”
- Eat only fruits and vegetables that you properly wash and peel yourself.
- Cook or bake fruits and vegetables that can’t be peeled or washed.
What can I do if I get diarrhea?
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Drink clear broth or eat salted crackers to
compensate for loss of salt.
- Avoid milk products.
- If you have bloody stools, seek medical attention.
- Take over the counter medication for diarrhea.
- Follow strict food and water precautions while traveling (Review Stomach problems, above).
- If traveling to areas where Hepatitis A is common, Hepatitis A vaccine.
- Six months' preparation time is needed, but if time is less than one month, a short limited protection may be an alternative.
- Receive the Hepatitis B vaccine. Six months' preparation time is needed, but if time is one month, a short limited protection may be an alternative.
- Avoid any contact.
- Use latex condoms correctly for every sexual contact.
- Never use another person’s razor, shaver or toothbrush.
- Don’t get tattoos or have any part of your body pierced.
This is a parasitic disease that is transmitted by infected female mosquitoes. Malaria may occur as soon as one week after you enter the tropics, and may progress rapidly to cause
seizures, coma, breathing and kidney problems, and death. The initial symptoms of malaria look much like the common flu: fever, chills, headache and generalized aches and pains.
- Follow the guidelines on insects.
- Rigorously follow your instruction for taking any prescribed medication for prevention of malaria.
- Always practice personal precautions against mosquito bites between dusk and dawn.
Typhoid fever is a
life-threatening illness. It’s usually spread under unsanitary conditions, either person to person or through contaminated food, drink or water. It is characterized by a high fever, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite and dizziness. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, chills, constipation and diarrhea.
- Vaccination is recommended for all travelers to
- Don’t depend on immunizations alone to keep you healthy. Follow safe food and water precautions.
This is a viral illness. The disease is carried by some species of mosquitoes in Central and South America, and in tropical regions of Africa. A mild attack may have symptoms similar to those of the flu. However, more severe symptoms my include nausea, vomiting, bleeding, abdominal pain and yellowing of the skin as a result of liver damage.
Travelers to diseased areas or traveling through a diseased area and entering another county may require a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever for legal entry.
- This vaccine is a single vaccination that is valid for 10 years, beginning 10 days after you receive your vaccine.
Items to bring with you on your travels
- First aid supplies
Mini flash light
Creams to relieve itching
Medicine for menstrual cramps