Lack of Research putting Traveller’s Health at Serious Risk
When planning a trip abroad it’s easy to focus more on your holiday wardrobe and ordering currency, rather than investigating any potential health concerns you should be aware of before travelling. However, this lack of awareness could be putting your health at serious risk – even in Europe.
According to a recent study, nearly 80% of those surveyed admitted they don’t do this type of research before going abroad. However, following the recent case of celebrity Lindsay Lohan contracting chikungunya on a luxury beach holiday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are trying to help educate holidaymakers on the dangers of travelling unprepared.
Here are a list of surprising medical complications you can face around the world;
Caribbean -> Chikungunya
The Caribbean creates images of stunning beaches and luxury accommodation, but as of January 2015 there were over one million suspected cases of the mosquito transmitted Chikungunya disease on the Caribbean islands, across Latin America and USA. There is no cure, so painful symptoms such as joint pain, headaches, fatigue, fever and rashes can only be relieved by medication.
Australia -> Ross River Virus
In February 2015 alone there were over 1,000 cases of Ross River Virus (RRV) in Australia, the majority of which were in Queensland. RRV is spread by mosquitos and causes symptoms such as server joint pain and swelling, fever and rashes. Again there is no specific treatments so symptoms can only be managed.
Corsica -> Schistosomiasis
If you swim or wash in infected Corsica water (for example in canals, lakes or rivers) you could come into contact with this horrible parasite. The bugs bury into your skin and, once they reach your bladder, bowels or liver they lay eggs which can cause serious health complications if left untreated.
Ibiza -> Legionnaires’ Disease
Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia which is usually contracted through contaminated water. Symptoms include diarrhoea, shortness of breath, fever and sickness. There were two cases from the same hotel in Ibiza in 2014.
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This blog post is not meant to scare, but simply to make travellers realise that research needs to be done to avoid circumstances such as the above. Most are easily avoidable by covering up to stop mosquito bites or avoiding contaminated water. For more information, visit the Fir for Travel website.