Traveling nowadays appears easy, thanks to various transportation alternatives that allow even the most isolated and inaccessible locations to be reached. As a result, there is an increasing number of tourist destinations that appeal to international travelers.
The sad truth is there is still no cure for a lot of illnesses in the world. To develop vaccines and find means to prevent diseases, healthcare market research recruitment continues to find individuals who will become part of clinical trials for research and development. These studies improve and advance the field of medicine every single day. However, this privilege comes with a high level of risk, as exposure to infectious diseases is a possibility.
There are many diseases lurking out there, and several portions of the world have more endemic illnesses to which people—especially non-natives—are susceptible. So, before you travel, it’s good to take note of what you could encounter. Knowing about infectious diseases before traveling will be advantageous for you and your family so you can prepare and take the necessary precautions.
Here are seven diseases to be aware of when traveling abroad.
1. Dengue Fever
Dengue fever, which is transmitted through mosquito bites, is an infection that is most prevalent in tropical or subtropical places like the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. You can expect the symptoms of this ailment to hold up to two weeks to emerge. It might be minor, with symptoms, such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and discomfort in the eyes, muscles, and joints, that last about a week. In worse cases, dengue hemorrhagic fever can even be deadly. There is no cure for dengue yet, so the best way to protect yourself is to cover up and apply mosquito repellent as you explore and travel to exotic destinations.
Parasitic blood flukes called Schistosoma penetrate freshwater snails, causing an infection known as schistosomiasis or bilharzia. The released worm larvae in the contaminated freshwater may enter your body through the skin, such as the soles of your feet.
You can catch schistosomiasis when you swim in rivers or walk by a wet area with contaminated water. Symptoms can take up to two months to appear. While some people never show signs of infection, others have fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches within two months. Determining the severity of your symptoms depends on the number of parasites in your body. Early diagnosis is very beneficial, and doctors can administer praziquantel drugs for treatment.
Malaria is yet another disease spread by mosquitoes. It can produce high fever, shivering chills, and flu-like symptoms. It can also lead to severe infections and even death if left untreated. You can avoid getting bitten by wearing long clothing or by applying insect repellents regularly. There is no approved malaria vaccine at this time. However, antimalarial medications are available and provided if you opt to travel in an endemic area.
4. Yellow Fever
Mosquitoes continue to be an issue because of their ability to spread the yellow fever virus, which causes fever, chills, headache, backache, and muscle ache. Some develop jaundice or the yellow discoloration of your skin, while some progress to severe symptoms that can lead to bleeding, shock, organ failure, and sometimes death. As of the moment, there is no treatment available, but the primary source of protection is a vaccine, which must be received at least 30 days before traveling to protect against the virus.
5. Traveler’s Diarrhea
Diarrhea is the most prevalent ailment among visitors to resource-poor places. In those countries, there is a high chance that you can consume contaminated food or drink tainted water. Although it is not always serious, repeated trips to the restroom might ruin your holiday. To prevent this from happening, you might want to consider buying bottled water and choosing wisely the food you’ll eat. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands properly at all times.
6. Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is typically a short-term infection and spreads via the fecal-oral route. Generally, you can get it by drinking contaminated water or eating raw food. Some of its symptoms include fever, drowsiness, poor appetite, diarrhea, lightheadedness, stomach pain, dark-colored urine, and jaundice. Supportive treatment and rehydration are the only remedies given to infected individuals. Most tourists are encouraged to bring a safe and effective immunization against the virus and recommend prudent diet and drink choices.
7. Typhoid Fever
This bacterial disease is spread by ingesting contaminated food and water. Symptoms include high fever, which is sometimes life-threatening, abdominal pain, and in severe cases, altered mental status. Before travel, especially to endemic areas, travelers are offered vaccinations; however, this does not guarantee safety because it only protects 50%-80% of those who receive it. Giving proper antibiotics to the patient is done as part of the treatment.
If you travel internationally, you have a high probability of contracting a travel-related sickness. While most travel-related illnesses are mild, several highly deadly infectious diseases are endemic to some places. You should always be well-prepared for your trip and be aware of the health risks and precautions to take to avoid illness. Remember that you can only have fun and truly enjoy your trip if you stay healthy and well.