It is extremely common for travellers to get sick during their overseas adventures. While most sickness only lasts a couple of days, there are times when it can be life threatening. However, with proper travel planning you can mitigate the risks associated with getting sick while overseas. http://ubuntumedical.com.au/travel-doctor-brisbane-northside/
In terms of the numbers, there are approximately 600 million international travellers every year. And it is estimated that approximately 80 million citizens from developed countries will visit developing countries every year. It is these people who need to see a Travel Doctor to make sure that they are prepared.
Generally speaking a travel doctor will provide the following services.
- repellents for insects, mosquito nets, antimalarial medication Advice on safe drinking water, what food to eat
- Safe sex practice while overseas
- How to minimise injuries while overseas Advice on what travel Insurance to take out.
What you need to know
It is advisable to speak with your GP to get your vaccinations 6-12 weeks prior to leaving for overseas. During this consultation, the doctor will give you expert advice about the side effects and health risks of the different vaccines. They will also be able to brain storm with you about the different ways of preventing the different diseases while travelling.
It is worthwhile talking to your GP about obtaining a heath kit for you to take with you during your travels. They will contain prescription medications for treating simple travel illness.
Some countries will require proof of vaccination against diseases commonly found in that country. Make sure to check with your embassy before departing. Any good travel GP will be able to access this information during the consultation. Please note that if you are not properly vaccinated you may be refused entry.
If you participated in Australia’s childhood vaccination program, you will be vaccinated against polio, tetanus, diphtheria, perussis, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella. However, you may require a booster shot depending on your age. It is always advisable to get the flu shot if it is available.
Please note that some vaccines require more than one dose. For example, Hepatitis B, Rabies shots requires more than one dose.
Please note that not all conditions are vaccine preventable. Diarrhoea is common in many developing countries and there is very little you can do to stop yourself from getting it.
Specific Advice on Different Countries
Indonesia. It is considered a high danger country for contracting disease. Recommended vaccinations include: Hep A & B, Flu and Typhoid, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and Cholera
Thailand. Generally a low risk country to visit. Recommended vaccinations include: Hep A & B, Flu and Typhoid, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and Cholera
India. Is considered a high-risk nation to visit. Hep A & B, Flu and Typhoid, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and Cholera, Tickbone Encephalitis, Meningococcal Meningitis
Vietnam. Generally considered a low to medium risk country. It is advised that you vaccinate against Hep A & B, Typhoid and Flu.
China. For those who are travelling to any part of China it is recommended that you get vaccinated against Hep A, Influenza, Typhoid, Tick Bone Encephalitis and Cholera. Please note that recommendations from you doctor will very much depend on the time of year that you are visiting.
Africa and South America. Yellow fever is specific to these 2 geographical areas. Meningococcal Meningitis is a risk for travellers in certain parts of Africa.
Chances of Getting Sick or Dying
- Cardiovascular disease accounts for between 50-70% of deaths
- Injury and accident account for 25% of deaths
- Infectious disease accounts for 2.8-4% of deaths
- If you stay in a developing country for over 1 month your chance of getting sick is over 50%
Mediation kits are highly advisable for all travellers. It should include
Medication to Fight Traveller’s Diarrhea
First Aid Kit
In general travellers will use it to fight: diarrhoea, gut problems, respiratory problems, wounds and pain. If you do get diarrhoea that thing to do is to take an antibiotic plus a stopper (e.g, loperamide). However, you should note that different parts of the world will require different antibiotics due to bacterial resistance. Any good travel doctor will be able to advise you about this