You may well know, we are heading off in a couple of months to our honeymoon in Koh Samui and Singapore. As we get closer to the trip, we get more and more excited as is expected. Like any new destination visit, we have taken to our doctors for advice on the health risks we could face, and any precautions we should embark on before we hit the sand.
I hate vaccinations, but with visiting rather a tropical destination, we wanted to be safe. Thankfully, we didn’t have to have anything nasty, but we were advised on a lot that we wouldn’t have known unless we looked or asked.
And it got me thinking, how many people actually ask these questions or research into risks when heading off on holiday? Are we being over the top? Do we protect ourselves effectively against health risks?
Here’s some of the risks we all should consider before boarding the plane.
When booking any holiday, insurance should be purchased too. You may not intend to do any dangerous sports or activities, but health insurance may be needed for the most mundane of reasons, or unexpected! Lacking in travel insurance could leave you penniless if needing medical attention out of the EU.
Many locations impose risk to virus’ and infections, some of which can be avoided with vaccines. Many of the countries we visit need no vaccines, however, some of the more exotic locations do carry risk and so vaccines are advised.
Zika Virus – Location dependant
We have all heard of the Zika virus since a large outbreak back in 2015. And despite it no longer making headline news or the news at 10, it is still active and effective, even today.
Whilst the Zika virus is no killer, and many of those infected neither know it, or suffer from just a quick bout of flu like symptoms, it can have a knock on effect months after being to an affected country.
The main concerns with the Zika Virus is the complications it can cause to pregnant women, and couples looking to conceive up to 6 months after visiting an affected area. If you are unsure if your upcoming destination carries risk of the Zika Virus, check out the Gov website. It regularly updates the risk of Zika in multiple countries and offers advice to those travelling.
If you are looking to try for a baby after visiting an effected country, seek medical advice. The NHS website does advise against couples trying for a baby within 6 months after visiting a moderate to high risk country. Up to 6 months, there is a risk of the Zika virus within your male partner, possibly causing complications to a baby, including abnormally small heads (microcephaly).
If you are visiting an affected area, reduce the risk of Zika Virus but using inset repellent, and wearing loose clothing to cover your arms and legs.
Even if the risk of Zika is not present, it’s well worth repelling mosquitoes as much as you can. It may be a pain in the bum, but try and cover yourself nightly. It’s much better than the pesky bites they leave you with, and the germs and / or infection they might carry with it.
With any holiday, there is a chance you will get a headache, eat something your tummy doesn’t agree with, or suffer from something inconvenient. It’s well worth packing a supply of pain killers, paracetamol and diarrhoea tablets just encase, as many countries lack in basic pain relief, or charge the earth for it .
Do not go on holiday without sufficient sun cream. And don’t believe that burning is part of the tanning process. It is not. Protect you and your skin effectively from the sun with high factor sun cream lotion. Be sure to re-apply every couple of hours, and try an avoid the midday day rays, as this is when the sun is at its highest.
I really hope this post of mine will help some of you out there. This post isn’t to scare you from visiting far away places, just rather open your eyes to the risks you could be open to. Without really looking, or speaking to a health advisor, many tourists can be oblivious to the health risks and virus that are active. Always seem medical advice if you are concerned, and be sure to check your immunisations are up to date. The NHS can offer boosters for many vaccinations, so be sure to speak to your doctor 8-10 weeks before you travel.
Are you heading anywhere exotic this summer?
Have you sought medical advise?
As always, share your thoughts and comments in the section below.