Medical advice for travelers..common diseases and ways to prevent them

During the summer holidays, many people crave travel, which brings many benefits, mainly recreation, discovery and self-enrichment by getting to know new cultures. However, some travelers are aware of medical conditions during their flights, cases that vary in severity. To avoid these concerns, public health specialist, Dr.

Common diseases during travel

The following three medical conditions are caused by contaminated food and drink:

Traveler diarrhea: This condition affects 40% of travelers from developed countries to developing countries such as South Asia, Africa, South America, Central America and Mexico and is transmitted through contaminated food and water. The source of this type of diarrhea is a bacterium called Escherichia coli (E. coli) in most infections, or even a virus or parasite in other infections. The passenger feels the symptoms during the flight or after 10 days from its expiration, which are: defecation diluted with water twice a day and abdominal pain, in the simple case of infection. In the severe case, the patient complains of nausea, which accompanies stools diluted with water more than twice a day, as well as abdominal pain, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever. Symptoms may include noticeable bleeding, in severe cases. Usually, the infection goes away without treatment after three to five days, with the importance of hydrating the body, to avoid dehydration. It may be necessary to take an anti-colic. In severe cases, ie those that last more than a week, or in those where the patient notices blood at the exit, or when a child or an elderly person is infected, an antibiotic should be taken.
To prevent traveler diarrhea, you should eat cooked food (and avoid any raw food and vegetables), at the tourist destination, drink bottled water and avoid adding ice to drinks, because the source of ice can be contaminated water. in addition to the importance of hand washing.
Hepatitis A: This type of infection is caused by a virus. A person can get it, regardless of its destination, although sometimes the virus infection increases in specific geographical areas. The virus is transmitted from one unvaccinated person to another by eating and drinking. Symptoms of hepatitis A include: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, high fever, discomfort and abdominal pain. A few days after infection, the virus manifests itself clearly through itching and discoloration of the urine and turning it into a dark, white discharge, in addition to yellowing of the skin and eyes. Usually, the infection clears up without treatment after about two weeks. For prevention, you should adhere to personal hygiene, wash your hands and get the anti-vaccine.
Typhoid: The condition is caused by bacteria that affect all age groups, especially children and young people. After an incubation period lasting from 5 to 21 days, the patient feels the symptoms represented in: high fever, abdominal pain and stomach blockage. The condition is diagnosed by blood test and treatment is performed with antibiotics. In some cases, complications occur, and the intestines are punctured, which requires urgent surgery. For prevention, you should adhere to personal hygiene, wash your hands and get the anti-vaccine.

Dr. Zina Moukarzel: Beware of malaria and yellow fever in African travel destinations


In some tourist destinations, diseases can be transmitted by insects loaded with parasites. In this context, the physician noted that malaria is an endemic disease in Africa; A serious disease infects humans as a result of the bite of a mosquito called “Anopheles”.
Malaria has a high mortality rate, especially when the mosquito bites Plasmodium falciparum (Plasmodium), which causes death in a few hours.
Symptoms of malaria: high fever, severe, mixed headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea and cough. The condition is diagnosed through a blood test. Anyone going to an African country should think about catching malaria when they feel high fever, even if they have taken the medicine called quinine for prevention because the latter is not enough to not fully catch the infection. For prevention, during the trip you should avoid going out at dawn or dusk, to avoid the bite of mosquitoes that transmit malaria, wear polo shirts that cover the hands and long pants, spray on the body with mosquito repellent, in addition to covering the bed with mosquito net and be sure to spray the insecticide on the bed, with the air conditioner on before going to sleep and the windows and doors covered with insulation.

yellow fever

The incidence of yellow fever decreased due to vaccine administration. However, the disease remains a source of concern for some travelers in tropical Africa, as it is transmitted by mosquitoes loaded with a virus and generates dangerous symptoms and can lead to death!
Symptoms include high body temperature, bleeding, laziness and kidney failure, laziness and liver failure, up to shock, while treatment requires entry into the recovery room for the need for oxygen deliveries and dialysis if the situation requires it.
In general, mosquito bites can be avoided, according to the above methods.

Lyme disease

The tick, a crawling insect that lives in grassy places, is responsible for transmitting mass diseases, depending on the areas where you live. Ticks move from grass to skin, especially in places that contain hairs (armpits, for example). If ticks walk on the skin, the person feels a slight redness or local inflammation and he can expel the insect, before becoming infected with the bacterial infection (Borrelia burgdorferi) that causes Lyme disease in North America, North Africa and Europe, especially in the period from May to October. As a result of the bite, which is loaded with bacteria, a large red spot appears and soon it gradually enlarges and red rings appear around it. The stain can be removed within a few weeks. However, in advanced cases, Lyme disease can develop into long-term problems in the brain, nerves and joints. Treatment is achieved with antibiotics.

Discomfort during the flight

Discomfort during the flight
  1. Staying on the plane for a long time when traveling for more than five hours causes a condition called “economy class syndrome”, ie blood clots in the passenger leg, to the point of lung blockage. This condition is life threatening. “Syndrome” especially affects the category of individuals who have previously known blood clots, or blockage of arteries, or people with cancer, problems with the heart, blood circulation, obese people or women taking birth control pills. For prevention, it’s worth walking the crew line every hour, wearing loose-fitting clothes while traveling, moving your ankles and knees forward and backward, avoiding sitting with one foot on top of the other, changing sitting position, wearing socks over knees and avoid taking sleeping pills.
  2. Lack of oxygen in the blood when flying at high altitudes, a condition that requires some passengers, especially those suffering from heart and lung problems, to supply oxygen on board.
  3. Severe ear pain and hearing damage, up to perforation of the eardrum, in passengers who have a cold, ear infection or acute sinusitis, when the plane is taking off and landing.
  4. Jet lag is a temporary sleep problem that can affect anyone who travels rapidly across multiple time zones. Every body has its own internal clock that tells it when to sleep and wake up. However, the plane delay occurs because the body clock goes to the rhythm of the original time zone and not to the time zone in which you are traveling. The condition is related to the secretion of melatonin, because light affects the regulation of the mentioned hormone. The patient feels tired during the day, not well, needs sleep and has digestive problems. As part of prevention, follow the following strategy, three days before traveling to remote regions (from west to east) on a journey that lasts more than three days: waking up one hour before the usual hour, and sleeping one hour . before the meeting, and exposure to sunlight and taking a melatonin supplement (3 milligrams) upon arrival at the destination, for five nights. It is not recommended to take hypnosis. Note that the same strategy applies when traveling from east to west, ie exposure to light at night and taking melatonin, but upon arrival at the destination, in this case.
  5. Travel sickness occurs during the use of various means of transport, including: airplane, and makes the information that reaches the brain, either from the inner ear responsible for balance in the body or from the eye, conflicting, making it difficult for the brain to reconcile. As a result, people are exposed to dizziness, fatigue, headache, cold sweats, irritability, lack of concentration, nausea, yellowing of the skin and rapid breathing, in all age groups, especially children from two to 12 years old , pregnant women or those taking birth control pills during menstruation, or those who complain of ear problems, headaches or Parkinson’s disease. Allergy medications are appropriate in treatment, but it is worth consulting a doctor. For prevention, it is helpful to eat low-fat, low-calorie foods, drink plenty of water, avoid using “cell phones” and tablets, put the chair behind you, close your eyes, focus on a certain point, and sit down. . window.

altitude sickness

When you want to climb mountain peaks (more than 2800 meters), as part of travel adventures, you should be sure that altitude sickness can be on the lookout for those preparing for this activity, at the tourist destination. Altitude sickness occurs due to lack of oxygen when moving to great heights within a short time and can lead to brain edema or lung edema, and even death. For prevention it is advisable to climb slowly, with rest and sleep, whenever it climbs five hundred meters, so that the body adapts. Once you have climbed a thousand meters, it is necessary to stay the night at the height mentioned before continuing the mission. In addition, sedative and hypnotic drugs should not be used because the drugs mentioned adversely affect breathing and sleep. Proper breathing in this activity is essential; As breathing becomes easier, the required percentage of oxygen entering the bloodstream decreases. In addition, climbing adventure is responsible for anxiety, which requires taking a special sleep-blessing medication while performing the activity.

Wearing a face mask is not necessary

Wearing a face mask is not necessary

After the fall of the Corona and the lifting of the ban due to the lack of infection with “Covid_19”, and the increase in the rate of vaccination in some countries, muzzle wearing became unnecessary, with the exception of travelers who complain of weak immunity, persons with cancer or individuals who have not received the vaccine. even in the case
Coronavirus infection while traveling currently, the resulting symptoms are mild.

Leave a Comment