Health tips to prepare a trip and prevent the spread of infectious diseases

2 April, 2012

The number of travelers that travel to tropical or exotic countries both for tourism and mountaineering or other adventure sports increases year after year. In many of these countries there is a high risk of contagion of infectious diseases that are transmitted mainly by arthropods, or by means of water and food.

To avoid problems, it is better to prepare before leaving and taking precautions once we are in the visited country. Here are some tips.

Before traveling

We need to update the vaccinations calendar and make sure which vaccinations we need depending on the country we visit. Not all diseases have an effective vaccine, and malaria or malaria, for example, still do not have an effective vaccine, for now. You need to be informed in advance.

During the trip

The general measures to prevent insect bites are: wear clear and long-sleeved clothes, use skin repellents, impregnate clothes with permethrin insecticides, use electric diffusers, sleep covered with a mosquito net Impregnated with insecticide and in spaces that have metal fabrics in doors and windows.

At the hygienic-dietetic level, the most frequent problem to consume water and contaminated food is the traveler's diarrhea, which affects up to 50% of travelers in high-risk countries. It is not a serious illness but can cause very annoying symptoms for three or four days.

The best advice before eating is to apply the maximum for food: «Strain it, cook it, peel it, and if it can not be, forget it». You must avoid any food that is raw or cooked, ice cubes and ice cream, and it is advisable to eat freshly cooked foods without spending hours at room temperature. It is important to monitor specially with fish and seafood, as they can contain toxins resistant.

In the case of beverages, only packaged and sealed containers are safe or coffee and infusions prepared with boiled water. If you can not get safe water to drink it will be necessary to boil it or disinfect it chemically with iodine. Do not forget the water we do not drink but we use: you should wash your teeth with drinking water and bathe only in safe and chlorinated waters. On the other hand, it is best to wash your hands before each intake and not to walk barefoot or touch animals.

On the website Health and vacations of the Department of Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya you can find out about all the international vaccination centers and you can also consult the recommendations essential to enjoy a trip with health extensively.

Published in the Claror Magazine

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