Prudent travelling

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Be on the beach not in a hospital

Yesterday’s headline story in Metro and other publications about the unfortunate lady who travelled to Madagascar as a part of a charity exercise and then came down with a tape worm in the brain with life-threatening implications produced an eye-catching story. It should also help to remind us that precautions should be taken before travelling. It is unlikely that this lady would have been spared the suffering of the last year or so but it did make me wonder what advice she had received before she travelled.
In this age when it is so easy to travel almost anywhere, we should remember that it is easy in some parts of the world to come into contact with diseases. How many of us check whether we need immunisations before we travel to a particular country? How many of us are aware that typhoid is on the increase?
It’s hard to write without appearing to scaremonger but incidents are, luckily, few and far between. Nonetheless many forget to take basic precautions even when travelling in Europe. Do you carry your free European Health Insurance Card? Do you remember to get travel insurance before nipping over to the Costas for a long weekend or a stag-do? If you are about to trek around Bangladesh you might remember to do something but in France?
Last week the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia pointed out to its readers that fewer and fewer Australians are getting vaccinations before they travel and quoted the head of the Australian Medical Association as saying that if people couldn’t afford the vaccinations they shouldn’t travel.
According to a survey from Sanofi Pasteur – admittedly a provider of vaccines – and which the newspaper quoted, some 2.8 million Australians had travelled over the previous five years without having had the appropriate and necessary vaccinations.
If your travel agent bas not suggested what precautions you need to take, part of the NHS government website lists recommendations for travellers. Check it a couple of weeks before you go. And don’t forget travel insurance either.

Image © Dan Sperrin

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