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Travel Health Tips

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Travel Health Tips 

 

Before you book your trip to a far away paradise, you should think about protecting your health. With proper preparation, you can reduce the chances of any health-related problems during your vacation.

Important documents to bring on vacation

  • Your travel documents (passport and any required visas)
  • Your vaccination record (sometimes required). You may need to receive additional vaccinations besides the ones you had as a child. It would be a good idea to go to a travel health clinic before you leave.
  • Copies of your documents or cards detailing your travel health insurance (make sure you understand which services are covered abroad). 
  • A back-up prescription in case your medication is lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Your medication in the original labelled prescription bottle. 
  • A note from your doctor explaining the reason you are taking medication.

First aid (in your suitcase)

  • Insect repellent and/or mosquito netting if you are going to a country with mosquitoes (these insects can carry diseases such as malaria).
  • Sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 (50 is ideal).
  • Polysporin®
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • BAND-AID®
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Imodium® Pepto-Bismol™
  • Metamucil® Apo®-Lactulose Gentlax®•S
  • Tylenol® Aspirin® Advil®
  • Lubriderm® Xylocaïne®
  • Gravol® Benadryl® Transderm-V®
  • Benadryl® Reactine® Claritin®

Travel health clinic and vaccinations 

Each person’s need for vaccination might be different, depending on the length of stay, your existing health, and the nature of your travel (e.g., if you are going into the backcountry on a wilderness adventure, you might have a greater need for a vaccination than a person who is going to be in an urban area).

There are several over-the-counter products to take care of any minor health problems that you may have while travelling. Your Accès pharma affiliated-pharmacist can suggest which ones would be the most appropriate for you.

Malaria and other diseases

Depending on where you are travelling, you may need to pay special attention to your surroundings. Mosquitoes and other insects can spread certain diseases, so you should take all necessary precautions in order to avoid being bitten or any possible contamination.

If you are headed to a destination where malaria, the West Nile Virus virus are known to exist and carried by mosquitoes, then you should do the following:

  • Avoid low-lying swampy areas.
  • Bring mosquito repellent that contains DEET (not recommended for children from 6 months to 2 years of age). If you must apply repellent on children from 2 to 12 years of age, then use only products with a DEET concentration of 10% or less.
  • Mosquito netting might also be appropriate, especially at night.

 

Symptoms of malaria 

Some of the symptoms of mosquito-transmitted diseases are quite similar to those of the flu. If you develop any of the following symptoms, it is important to see a doctor quickly:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea or vomiting

Traveller’s Diarrhea and food poisoning on vacation

Don’t forget that certain illnesses and bacterial infections are transmitted by contaminated food and water. In certain countries, water treatment and sanitary conditions do not guarantee safe drinking water. In such cases, it is preferable to drink only bottled water and canned drinks. Unless you are absolutely sure about the water at your destination, always avoid tap water and ice made with this water.   

Air travel and blood circulation 

With more and more people flying, there is a growing number of cases of venous thromboembolism, which is essentially blockages caused by blood clots that form while sitting in the same position for an extended period of time.  

While this condition is commonly known, it is not yet completely understood. For example, it is suspected that some people who are already at higher risk of circulatory problems (like those who have already had a stroke) might increase the risk of worsening their condition if they take long-distance flights.

Some precautions that can reduce the risk of circulatory problems when you fly area as follows:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol.
  • Walk up and down the aisle regularly and stretch your arms and legs.
  • If you have circulatory problems (particularly in your legs), wearing support stockings can help you.  

To download the PDF brochure, click here. 

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