The last thing we want on a much-awaited trip is to fall ill. But it does happen, if not every time, at least once in a while during our travels. So how can we avoid falling ill when we travel? Here are some tips:
1. Prevention is better than cure – Get Vaccinated!
Almost every country in the world has some travel restrictions when it comes to diseases. So it is better to be safe than sorry, do proper research on the medical requirements and get yourselves vaccinated. It will save you a lot of trouble – physically, mentally as well as financially. Some regions may need you to get the Yellow Fever Vaccine while tropical regions are rife with dengue and malarial fever. Confused? All you need is GetDoc app’s Fit For Travel to help you find out what vaccines are needed for the destination you are heading to.
2. Wash your hands
Well that might sound like an instruction to a school kid, but it is one of the basic things you need to follow. Maintain hygiene as much as you can. You never know what you touched and when the germs spread. Hand hygiene is very important to stop infection from spreading. By doing this, you can actually reduce the risk of getting diarrhoea, vomiting, even Hepatitis A! If possible wash with soap and water, if not try to get hot water to wash your hands before eating and also after using the toilet. If you think you may not have access to that, carry small bottles of hand gel, can use it as a backup.
3. Drink bottled water
If you are not sure of the water purity level in the place you are going, it is advisable to NOT drink from the tap. Avoid beverages that have ice. Try to purchase bottled water from the nearby grocery shop – ensure they are well sealed. Your immune system may not be as strong as the locals’ so it is always better to be safe than sorry.
If you have a weaker system, boil bottled water and drink that. Drink beverages that are freshly prepared, that are served hot.
4. Eat at busy restaurants
You don’t want to get the traveler’s diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems when on a trip, do you? Be careful of what you eat and where you eat, you might be at the risk of infection from E.coli, Salmonella, Entamoeba etc. If you are on unfamiliar ground, try to ensure that the food you are eating is freshly cooked, fully cooked and most of all, served hot. Also keep an eye out for good hygiene practices at the restaurant or street food stall you want to eat at. Some simple hygienic practices include – wearing disposable gloves when handling food, whether they use the same gloves all the time, especially when handling the cash, how the food is stored, whether there are flies/insects teeming near the food etc.
Most often, restaurants that serve great food, that people don’t fall sick from, are quite busy and packed. So if you see a busy restaurant, you can trust your instincts and eat there.If you have allergies, make sure you find out what ingredients are in the food you are eating. Try to get a local to communicate in the local language for better communication of information.
5. If you do fall sick, find a doctor!
It has been seen that most often travelers fall sick because of bacterial infection and to cure that you need to be on a course of antibiotics. Do not think your immune system can fight the infection off by itself; you do not want to make the holiday/travel any worse. So find a doctor and get yourself treated. If you are in Malaysia or Singapore, you can use the GetDoc app to find a doctor in a hassle-free way. So, download the GetDoc app and be safe!
Pack a first aid kit whenever you are going on a trip, a small one with just the essentials. Some of these include pain relief medicine (paracetamol), Band-Aid, ORS/Electrolyte Replacement powder, Lozenges to name a few. For more, you can read this.
Fix an appointment with your doctor at least 6-8 weeks before you leave. Discuss the pros and cons of the trip on the health angle and follow the advice given by the doctor.