Travel Health - Topic Overview
Getting a disease on your trip is probably what you think
about when you hear about travel health. But it is important to know about
other ways you can be hurt. Many travelers are hurt in car accidents. If you
must drive, learn about local driving customs, such as driving on the left side
of the road. Travel during daylight when you can. Always use seat belts. If you
use hired drivers (such as in a taxi), don't be afraid to ask your driver to
slow down or to drive more carefully.
What if you get sick while you are traveling?
Diarrhea is the most common illness to strike travelers. Traveler's
diarrhea is most common in developing countries where food and water are not as
Traveler's diarrhea most often begins quickly with watery
diarrhea, vomiting, cramping, and a low fever. Many doctors recommend trying to
eat as normally as possible. If you are vomiting, try to drink water or other
clear fluids. Watch for signs of
dehydration, such as a dry mouth and dark-colored
urine. If possible, drink
rehydration drinks to replace lost fluids and
electrolytes. Most cases of travelers' diarrhea get
better in 1 to 3 days without treatment. But see a doctor if diarrhea lasts
longer than 7 days, or if you have a high
fever, blood or mucus in your diarrhea, or signs of dehydration.
you become seriously ill while traveling, your country's embassy or consulate
can help you find medical care. If you become ill with a fever or flu-like
illness while traveling in malaria-risk areas, get medical help right
Should you see a doctor when you return?
were healthy during your trip and you feel well when you return home, you
probably do not need to see a doctor.
If you were sick with a
fever or severe flu-like illness while traveling, see your doctor when you get
home. Also, if you get sick with a fever or severe flu-like illness for up to
6 months after coming home, see your doctor. Tell your doctor the places you
visited and whether you think you may have gotten a disease. Many diseases do
not show up right away, and some can take weeks or months to develop. Many
travelers who get malaria don't have symptoms until they get home.
Other symptoms to watch for after you come back home include:
- Diarrhea that lasts a long time or that keeps
- A skin rash or sores on the skin.
- Jaundice, which causes the whites of your eyes and your skin to look
- Losing weight without trying, or feeling tired and worn
Frequently Asked Questions