Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

The travel bugs you don’t want to catch:

Expert tips for a healthy and happy overseas getaway
By Expert Tips
Date: December 06 2016
Editor Rating:
You’ve renewed your passport, organised the travel insurance and bought your foreign currency, but before you jet off on your overseas adventure it’s important you consider the right health protection.
A bout of illness no matter how minor can make your long-awaited holiday far less enjoyable, so to ward off unwanted travel bugs, Amcal Senior Pharmacist James Nevile shares why travellers should plan a health check well before departure.
“There are a number of popular travel destinations that are high risk locations for contracting infectious diseases. If you are unsure whether you require a vaccination for your upcoming travel destination, it’s important that you seek advice from a health professional,” he said.
“Equally, if you have a pre-existing health condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or are at risk of blood clots, you should schedule a GP check-up before travelling to ensure you are well prepared and informed of the protocols for taking medications abroad.”
If you’re planning an overseas trip, take heed of the tips below from Amcal Senior Pharmacist James Nevile:
1. Research your destination for recommended vaccinations
You may be exposed to infectious diseases if you are travelling overseas. The good news is many of these diseases can be prevented by immunisation. Common diseases you should consider are Hepatitis A and B, rabies, typhoid, cholera, measles, influenza and yellow fever. Vaccines vary depending on your medical history, season of travel and duration of your trip, however, as a golden rule you should allow 6-8 weeks for the vaccine or booster to take effect before setting off.
2. Schedule a routine check-up
Even if you are feeling well, it is recommended that you check in with your GP before your flight, to ensure there are no underlying health problems that could arise, and that existing health conditions are appropriately managed during the trip. Your pharmacist can also help you prepare a travel first aid kit, and advise whether your prescription medications are legal in the country you are visiting.
3. Be prepared for common illnesses
It’s a good idea to pack supplies for a range of common ailments when travelling, especially if you have the little ones in tow or are visiting remote areas. Basic remedies such as antiseptic cream, wound dressings, oral rehydration sachets, pain relief medication, cold and flu tablets, motion sickness tablets and diarrhoea medicine should form part of your travel first aid kit, keeping you and your family safe and happy for the holiday duration. Amcal’s travel first aid kit is a great place to start at just $19.99 for 75 essential items.
4. Be aware of high risk foods
Many travellers would be familiar with the unpleasant and inconvenient gastroenteritis contracted by consuming contaminated food and water. However, sources of food-borne illness are not always easy to detect, and so it’s important to be savvy with food and drink choices to avoid a spell of diarrhoea or more serious infections such as hepatitis A or cholera. Look out for high risk foods such as ice, raw or under-cooked meat or seafood, salads, or restaurants with seemingly poor food preparation hygiene.
5. Protect yourself from insects
Pesky mosquitos can leave more than just an itchy bite in many parts of the world. Protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases such as yellow fever, malaria and dengue fever which are common in South America, Africa and Asia, by wearing a mosquito repellant containing Deet or Picaridin. We recommend Aerogard Repellant Heavy Duty 40% Deet 150g, which retails for just $10.95.
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