There comes a time in life when, as you are sitting at your desk during your job, you say to yourself “I’m tired of this, I need a getaway… I NEED A VACATION!” and here you are researching and planning out what is necessary for your duly deserved break-time. Now I am sure that you have all the wonderful places and sights that are to behold but there are other aspects as well to be considered, especially if you’re travelling with your family.
There are many things that you ought to look into in the event you are travelling such as the crime rates of the place you intend to travel to, whether the insurance you have or intend to purchase covers the area and your activities, language barriers in conversing with the people, and so on, but what it is I am referring to is something called travel diseases…. and yes, it’s a thing.
This is an important matter to consider as the area you are living in has its own prominent bacteria or diseases and it’s likely that your body has produced the antibodies required to keep its detrimental effects at bay, however, when you travel your body is vulnerable to the diseases from other areas due to them not being immune against it. So here is Ten Nastiest Travel Diseases and Why You Want to Avoid Them.
Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is a serious infection caused by bacteria called Clostridium tetani. This bacterium develops a toxin that affects the brain and nervous system, causing stiffness in the muscles. If Clostridium tetani spores are exposed to a wound, the neurotoxin produced interferes with nerves that command muscle movement.
The infection can cause severe muscle spasms, breathing difficulties, and could prove to be fatal. Although tetanus treatment exists, it is not uniformly effective. The best way to protect against tetanus is to take the vaccine.
Cholera is a diarrheal infection caused by consumption of food and/or water contaminated with the bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. Cholera currently poses a global threat to public health and a measure of inequity and lack of development. Researchers have estimated that every year, there are roughly 1.3 to 4.0 million cases, and 21 000 to 143 000 deaths worldwide due to cholera. For more information, head on to Cholera Overview.
Dengue is an infection caused by a virus. You can get it if an infected mosquito bites you. Dengue does not spread from person to person. Outbreaks occur in the rainy season. The dengue fever is quite common in Asian and South African countries, click here to check countries with the disease.
Dengue fever symptoms include a high fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain, vomiting, and a rash. In some circumstances, dengue turns into dengue hemorrhagic fever, which results in bleeding from your nose, gums, or under your skin. It can also develop into dengue shock syndrome, which causes massive bleeding and shock. These forms of dengue are fatal.
There is no specific treatment. Most people with dengue recover within 2 weeks. Until then, it is recommended that drinking lots of fluids, resting and taking non-aspirin fever-reducing medicines might be of help. To lower your risk when traveling to areas where dengue is found it is advised to wear insect repellent, wear clothes that cover your arms, legs and feet and close unscreened doors and windows.
Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. Once an infected mosquito infects a human, the parasites dispersed will multiply in the liver before infecting and crippling the host’s red blood cells.
In a few places, malaria can be treated and managed with early diagnosis. However, some countries do not possess the resources to manage this effectively. As of now, no vaccine is licensed for use in the United States or globally, although one is available in Europe. Travelers, hikers, and campers can protect themselves with medication, pest control, clothing, and nets.
Typhoid fever is a potentially deadly disease. Typhoid fever is caused by a bacterium, Salmonella typhi. Most patients have high fevers, generalized fatigue, headache, and loss of appetite. Typhoid fever can be prevented through vaccination.
Most travelers who get infected with typhoid fever did not receive the vaccination prior to travel. If you contract typhoid fever and survive, you can become a carrier who infects others. Without treatment, 10%-30% of patients with typhoid fever die, and even with appropriate antibiotics, approximately 1% of patients still die.
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that is spread by the Aedes mosquito, the same species that transmits the dengue and chikungunya viruses. How Zika spreads is that it can be transmitted through mosquito bites, from a pregnant woman to her fetus, through sex, through blood transfusion. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, headache, joint pain, red eyes, muscle pain.
Symptoms can last for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. Once a person has been infected with Zika, they are likely to be protected from future infections.
Polio is an acute viral infectious disease of the nervous system that usually starts with common symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, fatigue, and muscle pains and spasms and in some cases followed by a more-serious and permanent paralysis of muscles in one or more limbs, the throat, or the chest. Since the 1960s, thanks to widespread use of polio vaccines, polio has been eliminated from most of the world. It is now endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
Measles is an infection amongst children caused by a virus. Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. It was one quite common, measles can now almost always be prevented with a vaccine. Signs and symptoms of measles include cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, sore throat, fever and a red, blotchy skin rash.
While death rates have been declining worldwide as more children have been receiving the measles vaccine, the disease still kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of 5.
Ebola Virus Disease
Ebola, in full Ebola virus disease, formerly called Ebola hemorrhagic fever, contagious disease caused by a virus of the family Filoviridae that is responsible for a severe and often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever. The disease is characterized by extreme fever, rash, and profuse hemorrhaging. In humans, ebolaviruses cause fatality in 25 to 90 percent of cases.
Although not exactly a disease it affects quite a few travelers and it is truly unpleasant for a person to be spending most of their vacation on a toilet seat. According to the Centre for Disease Control, Traveller’s Diarrhea affects 50% of international jet setters. Symptoms include cramps, frequent trips to the loo, fever, loss of appetite and dehydration.
The primary cause is the contamination of water and food. Try to avoid things like ice cubes, raw fruit and vegetables or anything that looks suspicious. If you’re visiting somewhere with an uncertain water source, consider using treatment (or iodine) tablets in your drinking water.
And there you have it, the ten nastiest travel diseases and why you want to avoid them. Perhaps as a safety measure, you may consider getting Allianz Travel Care to safeguard yourself against these travel diseases. With Allianz Travel Care, you may claim for medical expenses benefit of up to RM300,000 if you happen to be hospitalized in any of the hospitals worldwide to treat these nasty diseases urgently. You will never have to worry about forking out emergency medical expenses while traveling, again.
Read more about Allianz Travel Care, this comprehensive travel product now!
In fact, if you are going travelling soon, seize this golden opportunity to redeem one FREE meal on us! All you have to do is to buy a travel insurance from us, take a photo of your food, drink or snack when you travel, send your details to us, and we will give you RM10 for it. It IS THAT easy. Click here to know more about how to redeem your free in-flight meal! Don’t wait, act now!