How to Stay Healthy While Traveling Abroad
Many travel in summer to beat the summer heat, and more travel abroad these days. However, the popularity of traveling abroad raises the risks of being exposed to various infectious or endemic diseases such as AIDS, malaria, traveler’s diarrhea, and typhoid.
First Step to Healthy Travel: Get Information about Your Destination
To stay healthy during your holiday abroad, get as much information as you can about your destination. What you need to check may depend on the purpose of trips, where you make stopover, the duration of holiday, where you plan to stay, your medical history, and your vaccination records. Generally, if you visit a popular holiday destination or a big city, the chance of falling ill with endemic diseases is low. But if you need to travel to remote areas for backpacking or mission trips, you should take every preventative step. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) recommends that people visit specialists four to six weeks before their departure to get their personal health risks evaluated and receive destination-specific information and vaccination.
Must-Pack Items and Precautions
While it is important to get vaccinated, don’t forget to pack first-aid kits such as fever-reducing drugs, anti-diarrhea medicines, and antiseptics along with long-sleeved shirts, mosquito repellents, and mosquito nets to prevent bug and mosquito bites. Also, make sure to drink boiled or bottled water only and avoid going out barefoot. Do not swim or bathe in rivers and lakes and be extra careful not to contact contaminated bodily fluid.
Cautions By Destination
Endemic diseases vary depending on where you are going, so make sure to take a look and get ready. If you are traveling to Africa, Southeast Asia, or Latin America, prevention of endemic diseases are a must. You can get information about epidemics, vaccines, medicines, and preventive measures by destination at official websites of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the US (www.cdc.gov/travel) and KCDC (travelinfo.cdc.go.kr).
Also, don’t forget to see infectious disease specialists after coming back. If you have chronic diseases such as cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, and respiratory conditions, experience fever, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, urinary discomfort, or skin conditions within two weeks after holiday, are likely to have been exposed to serious infectious diseases, or stayed in a developing country for more than three months, a more thorough examination is needed.