Millions of Britons travel abroad every year. Many trips pass without incident. However, you should not be complacent about the risks involved with travelling overseas
There is no such thing as risk free travel. To be prepared in case things go wrong, it is important to take a few simple precautions before you go and while you are there.
Contact us at Deben Private GP Services 6-8 weeks before travelling for personal, up-to-date, expert advice. You may need a course of vaccinations and medications, which can take several weeks to complete to ensure that you have adequate protection. If you take any medicines regularly, make sure you have enough for your trip and check with your airline about what you can carry in your hand luggage. Be aware that some medicines may not be permitted in your destination country. Seek advice from your healthcare professional or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.
Take out medical insurance. Ensure it covers you for repatriation. Make sure you declare any existing health issues. If you are travelling within the EU, apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card may entitle you to free emergency medical care within any EU country.
Contaminated food and drinking water are the most common source of illness abroad. So always wash your hands before eating or preparing food. If you contract diarrhoea, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. There are medicines available for treating diarrhoea but you should seek medical advice before taking them. Visit the World Health Organisation further information
Rabies is still present in many parts of the world. If a person develops rabies, death is almost 100% certain.
Diseases like hepatitis A, typhoid and cholera can be caught from contaminated water.
Hepatitis B and HIV are very serious illnesses. They are usually transmitted through contact with blood
or bodily fl uids. Use of unclean medical equipment, sharing needles, and unprotected sex all increase
the risk of contracting hepatitis B or HIV.
Take a sterile medical kit with you. It should include needles and syringes
Avoid anything that will break the skin, e.g. ear and body piercing, tattooing and acupuncture
Insect bites can cause many different diseases, including dengue fever, and malaria. Malaria is a one of the most serious diseases travellers can be exposed to. A course of antimalarial tablets and employing a few basic protective measures can decrease your risk of contracting this potentially life threatening disease
A. Be Aware of the risk, the incubation period and the main symptoms
B. Avoid being Bitten by mosquitoes, especially between dusk and dawn
C. Take antimalarial drugs (Chemoprophylaxis) to suppress infection where appropriate
D. Immediately seek Diagnosis and treatment if a fever develops one week or more after entering an area where there is a malaria risk, and up to 1 year after departure
Overexposure to the sun ruins thousands of holidays every year. Sunburn and heatstroke can be very serious.
For more information and to apply for a European Health Insurance Card.
A useful website with more information on your destination provided by the NHS (Scotland) is Fit For Travel.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website which provides up-todate information about destination countries.
Advice and protection about sunburn and skin cancer.
A comprehensive, up-to-date and accurate source of information on vaccines, disease and immunisation.
Article Provided by GlaxoSmithKLine