Most of you, if not all, have a thirst for adventure! The idea of roaming the streets of Spain, collecting memories in Sri Lanka, or satisfying your taste buds in Mexico is all fun and games; but what if you picked up an unwanted souvenir along the way- a disease that will put your vacation at stake?
Hence, before you pack your bags, check out the “6 most common travel-related diseases” that can ruin your trip.
If you are heading toward India, South Asia, Egypt, Mexico, or South America, be aware of typhoid fever that is mainly caused by the consumption of contaminated food and water. The symptoms include high fever, stomach pain, headache, and constipation or diarrhea. Even though the resulting high fever can be alarming, typhoid can be treated with antibiotics. Therefore, make sure to get vaccinated before visiting an area where this disease is common, stay away from tap water, and choose your food wisely.
- Hepatitis A
Unfortunately, staying away from hepatitis A is somehow hard as it can be found all over the world, threatening to ruin your vacation. Hepatitis A is a liver disease that can be transmitted through contaminated water, uncooked food, inadequate sanitation, and poor personal hygiene. Fever, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, nausea, malaise, loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, and jaundice are the most common symptoms. However, hepatitis A can cause severe illness, and in some cases, it can lead to liver failure. Unfortunately, rehydration is the only available treatment for this disease, but there is an effective vaccine against hepatitis A that travelers are advised to take at least two weeks before the trip.
- Traveler’s Diarrhea
Wherever you go, traveler’s diarrhea will most likely accompany you on your vacation. Traveler’s Diarrhea is the most common travel-related illness that targets 50% of international jet setters. Just like typhoid and hepatitis A, contaminated food and water cause this bacterial disease. Even though the symptoms are usually mild, no one would like to deal with cramps, fever, loss of appetite, and frequent visits to the bathroom during a vacation. Therefore, the best way to keep diarrhea at bay is by drinking bottled water and avoiding street food, and unpeeled vegetables and fruits.
If you are planning to spend your holiday in tropical areas, beware of malaria. This parasitic disease can be transmitted by the bite of over 20 different species of the Anopheles mosquitoes. The symptoms include high fever, chills, headache, and nausea. However, if the disease wasn’t diagnosed and treated early, it progresses quickly and can be fatal. Hence, the best way to prevent malaria is to protect yourself from being bitten. You can wear long clothing, sleep in air-conditioned rooms, stay indoors from dusk till dawn, and use insect repellent. Until now, there is no licensed vaccine for malaria but anti-malarial medications are available and recommended for anyone traveling to endemic areas.
- Yellow Fever
Like malaria, yellow fever can be transmitted from the bite of infected mosquitoes. Body aches, fever, headaches, and chills are the initial symptoms; however, in some cases, people can become jaundiced which explains why it is called “yellow” fever. Luckily, the yellow fever vaccination is considered effective, and travelers have to get vaccinated at least 30 days prior to their trip.
- Lyme disease
In addition to infected mosquitoes, infected ticks are also another travel buzzkills! Unfortunately, and due to the bite of blood-thirsty ticks, the number of Lyme cases drastically increased. This bacterial disease can cause fever, headache, fatigue, and skin rash; and may sometimes reach the joints, heart, and nervous system if left untreated. There is no vaccine for Lyme disease, so all you have to do is cover yourself up, avoid bushy areas, and apply DEET-based insect repellents. In case you were bitten, a dose of antibiotics is your only savior!
While you are enjoying the breathtaking sceneries of the lush tropical jungles, and exotic safaris, or savoring your food or drink, it may be hard sometimes to be aware of the diseases that may be lingering around you. Hence, protect yourself against travel-related diseases by getting vaccinated before you jet off, wearing repellants, and being careful about what you eat and drink.