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Health Information and Tips

Your health while travelling is very important, you should adhere to the following tips:

1) Research your destination well and check the health risks

2) Prepare well before you go

3) Consult your doctor or local health cente if you have any concerns

Comparable Countries

In most developed countries and regions, such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Western Europe, health risks may be no greater than comparable risks while traveling in the United States. On the other hand, in the countries of Africa, Asia, South and Central America, the South Pacific, Middle and Far East, living conditions and standards of sanitation and hygiene can vary greatly, depending on where you are. Some cities in these areas provide safer and healthier envirnoments than outlying rural areas. But the opposite can also be true. The key to survival and good health is, beyond everything else, in knowing what to expect.

Regular problems

Diarrhea is a common affliction that usually strikes a couple of days after arrival in a new area of the world and seldom lasts longer than about five days. Diarrhea is nature's way of ridding the body of noxious agents; intestinal motility serves as the normal cleansing mechanism of the intestine. The most important way of coping with this disorder is to maintain adequate fluid intake to prevent dehydration. Most cases of diarrhea are self-limited and require only simple replacement of fluids and salts lost in diarrhea stools.

Tetanus, commonly known as "lockjaw," is an infection of the nervous tissue produced by a contaminated wound or injury. Severe muscle spasms are produced, and if left untreated, tetanus can be fatal. Cleanliness (lots of soap and water to remove contamination of a wound or injury) is one of the most effective weapons to prevent this kind of infection. Tetanus immunization is available, often in combination with the diphtheria vaccine. Tetanus boosters are recommended every ten years after the initial series of three injections administered one month apart.

Hepatitis A (Infectious Hepatitis) is most prevalent in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. However, it is possible to contract the disease anywhere (including in the United States) that living conditions are crowded and unsanitary. Hepatitis A is transmitted orally through the ingestion of contaminated food or water; clams, oysters, and other shellfish, especially if eaten raw, are common sources of the disease in contaminated areas. A variety of symptoms are associated with the disease, including fever, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, and yellowing of the eyes.

Malaria, which is transmitted by the female Anopholine mosquito, is common to parts of the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Anti-malaria medication is available and is required for those who will be participating in a program in Africa. Instructions on taking the medication must be followed carefully to insure adequate protection; you must usually begin taking the medication prior to your departure, during the entirety of your visit, and for two or three weeks after return to the United States. (The organisms that cause the disease do not invade the red blood cells until about a week or so after the bite of the mosquito.)


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