Traveling can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it often comes with risks to your health. Exposure to new environments, different climates, and unfamiliar pathogens can increase the likelihood of getting sick while on the road. However, by taking appropriate precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling ill during your travels. In this brief article brought to you by Southern Maryland Medical Group, we will explore various measures you can take to stay healthy and enjoy your journey to the fullest.
Ensure that your routine vaccinations, such as measles, mumps, rubella, and influenza, are up to date. Before embarking on your trip, research the recommended and required vaccinations for your destination. Some countries may have specific immunization requirements to protect against endemic diseases. Depending on your destination, you might need vaccines like Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, or Rabies.
Traveling across multiple time zones can disrupt your internal body clock, leading to fatigue and susceptibility to illness. Before your trip, try to adjust your sleep schedule gradually to match your destination's time zone.
Drink plenty of water during your flight to avoid dehydration, which can exacerbate jet lag. Short naps of 20-30 minutes can help also alleviate fatigue. Avoid long naps, which can make jet lag worse.
Maintaining proper hygiene is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to prevent illness while traveling. Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, as this can introduce pathogens into your body.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating and after using the restroom. If clean water is not readily available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Contaminated food and water are common sources of illness during travel. In areas with questionable water quality, stick to bottled water and avoid using ice in your drinks. If you consume fruits or vegetables, peel them or wash them thoroughly with purified water.
Steer clear of dairy products like cheese or milk that have not been pasteurized. Similarly, opt for hot, freshly cooked meals over raw or undercooked dishes. Avoid street food if you're unsure about its preparation and hygiene standards.
In regions where diseases like malaria, dengue fever, or Zika virus are prevalent, take measures to protect yourself from insect bites.
Apply an effective insect repellent to exposed skin and clothing. Further, dress in long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks when venturing out in the evening or in mosquito-prone areas. If you're staying in accommodations without proper screening or air conditioning, use a bed net treated with insecticide.
Primary care doctors can provide guidance on general health precautions, like hygiene, food and water safety, and managing jet lag. They can also provide travel-specific health advice, including necessary vaccinations and medications based on your destination and medical history.
Residents in the area can call Southern Maryland Medical Group to schedule an appointment with a licensed primary care physician today. Consulting with your primary care doctor before traveling is a valuable step in ensuring a safe and healthy journey.
Southern Maryland Medical Group has 3 convenient locations to provide professional medical care services in the Southern Maryland area. Call or schedule an appointment with one of our locations to get medical care help.