Frequent travellers who go to many of the remote parts of the world have always known they must include travel health advice in their planning.
As the world shrinks with people traveling more and more, infectious diseases move quickly and easily from destination to destination.
Yet when we travel to the sunspots we go to each winter, travel health is often ignored as an important part of the planning process. Until revelations about increased infections of some kind of tropical disease send people scurrying to their nearest travel health clinic for advice and protective measures.
If the news is about a sun destination not normally associated with problems of this nature, it will suddenly bring travel health issues to the forefront of everyone’s holiday planning, with the same priority as travel insurance, hotel selection, transportation and tour operator options.
But travel health should not wait for news or television reports. For the countries we holiday at every winter there are compelling reasons to protect yourself before you travel.
Hepatitis A and B, for example, are two of the most common of the viruses that are found in almost all the most popular winter destinations.
Hepatitis A could be hiding in that poolside drink even at the fanciest resorts. It may be in the ice or in the water that washed the glass. Yet Hepatitis is one of the easiest viruses to be protected against.
In looking at a map put out by the Centres for Disease Control, you will see these sun destinations we travel to the most like the Dominican, Mexico, Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean are all high risk areas for Hep A and B.
Shall we all spend the winter cooped up inside our homes for fear of venturing out? Not likely at minus 20-40 C.
And what about the rest of the world?
Should we never venture into South America, the old East Bloc countries, or even parts of Europe because we might come in contact with Typhoid Fever? What wonderful experiences we would miss!
Should we stay away from exceptional Thailand or Indonesia because we could come in contact with Japanese Encephalitis?
Should we never see the beaches of Venezuela or experience the sight seeing safaris in Kenya because there could be Yellow Fever in some areas of the region? And should we never again visit Brazil or South Africa because of Cholera concerns?
If you carry fear so far and don’t want to be affected by the possibility of acquiring an influenza strain you will have to stay in your room and accept no visitors… and even that guarantees you nothing.
Like the earliest inhabitants of our planet we are, and will remain, explorers. We want to gain experiences beyond our borders. And having taken our first forays out of our environment we want to stretch our travel boundaries further and further.
Today you don’t have to fear these diseases of infections because a pre-travel health assessment from a qualified travel health professional will result in vaccinations that protect you against almost every know strain of disease out there.
Get the pre-travel advice and vaccinations you should have for the regions you plan to visit. It’s easy, inexpensive, and from a good nurse you’ll hardly feel a thing.
Check the Health Canada website at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca to research the destinations you will be traveling to and through.
For yourself, and for the sake of your family, take all the precautions. But never let fear create hesitation in your plans to discover what the wide world of tourism has to offer. The memories will always be good when you plan for healthy travel in advance.
If you have travel health questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I will answer your question by email and post it for all to learn from right here on tripatlas.
See other travel tips at www.journeystravelgear.com
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Ron PradinukOver the past few years I have had a weekly travel column in the travel section of the Winnipeg Free Press every Saturday, and have hosted a weekly travel show on radio station CJOB in the same central Canadian city. My blog, which I try to do most days is http://www.thattravelguy.ca/. I have also writen, and continue to write, destination stories for a number of newpapers and on line emagazines. You can read samples of my destination stories on http://journeystravelgear.com/DestinationStories.cfm My own background includes travel to almost 60 countries so far. As I talk to fellow travellers, as much as I have traveled I realize my list of places I must still visit is very long compared to others. So many places...only so much time in a life to see it all. For almost 30 years I have operated a travel agency focusing mostly on leisure travel. I served on the national board of the Association of Canadian Travel Agents for years and was the National President for two years. In 2000 we opened a travel superstore called Journeys Travel & Leisure SuperCentre. It carries just about every travel product imaginable. It is also a swim wear and luggage centre and carries a wide range of travel clothing in brands like Tilley Endurables, Ex-Officio, and Royal Robbins just to name a few. In my blog I write about destinations, airline and tour operator policies, good and bad travel products you have used, and anything that has the connotation of travel. You can read my column every Saturday online at http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/ then clicking on to the feature sections link and then on to the travel section. They usually hold past columns and freelance stories You can listen live to the radio show online at http://www.cjob.com/ Sundays at noon Central Time, then clicking on listen live.
Located: Winnipeg Canada
Likes: Europe, Asia, South America, South Africa, Cruising, Golf Vacations, Fishing Vacations, Generational Family Vacations