New Silk Road Travel

Common travel illnesses and how to avoid them

There is one important need that travellers and their guides forget to address; healthcare. You can visit website and browse cheap airline tickets and get in touch with travel agencies or a professional, but you know what is avoided? How to avoid getting sick or injured in a foreign city.

Travelling can cause all sorts of health-related issues, from jet lag to motion sickness, blisters, sunburn, to an upset stomach. Whether you are scuba diving in the Caribbean, hiking in Bali, or are even surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a city, you can get ill, catch a virus or get injured despite your best efforts to stay active and healthy because traveling can expose us to a variety of health-related risks that can comprise our systems and increase the likelihood of catching a disease.


Travelling and Healthcare

Every year, millions of people catch a flight to traveling around the world, and as much as that number keeps on increasing, so are the diseases. People either carry with them to their destination or bring it back home and therefore, almost every traveller is exposed to nearly all infectious risks of the destination, and other health-related risk factors such as the change in the quality of water, temperature, humidity, which is the perfect host for infectious organisms. Now, some of these travel-related illnesses or injuries can be treated with either paracetamol, or instant painkillers and a first aid kit, but it is very essential to provide health care services to every traveller.

What is the field of medicine doing for the healthcare of a traveller?

World Health Organization has had people who plan to travel need to contact a physician who has a specialization in travel medicine, and that too at least four to six weeks prior to departure. All European countries have these centres of diseases prevention that travellers can go to consult a travel medicine doctor. This way they can learn about the health hazards of the specific destination, precautionary steps they can take, and even vaccinations.

The details of this field of medicine go as follows: it is not only concerned with the prevention of infectious diseases, epidemiology, tropical medicine, high altitude physiology, psychiatry, occupational medicine, military, and migration medicine that might affect you while traveling, but also with personal safety and prevention from environmental threats. A pre-travel consultation and evaluation, list of emergency steps during traveling and post-travel follow-up are the essential stages.

Common Travel Illnesses

Travel Illnesses

Some of the most common health problems associated with traveling include respiratory tract infections, hepatitis, poliomyelitis, gonorrhoea, cholera, prion diseases, meningococcal disease, yellow fever, and severe acute respiratory syndrome etc. These are some of the most common health issues you might face while traveling and what you do to avoid them.


Rabies is the kind of disease you can catch even from your home in one of the most developing countries. Yes, it is that common and widely spread. The rabies virus is present in animals and it can easily be spread if bitten. Dogs are the most common source of rabies, followed by cats, monkeys, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and bats. How would you know if you have caught the rabies virus?

How to avoid/ cure:

If you have persistent fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, agitation, anxiety, confusion, hyperactivity, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, fear of water, hallucinations, insomnia, and partial paralysis, don’t sit at home and let it get worse. It is a deadly virus and therefore, it is extremely necessary to receive a post-bite rabies vaccination. However, if you are traveling to a lesser developed country where they are higher chances of rabies, you can get the vaccination beforehand.

Traveller’s diarrhoea


Traveller’s diarrhoea is a very common digestive tract disorder that affects up to 80% of international travellers starts. How would you know if you have diarrhoea?

How to avoid/ cure:

You will have the following symptoms: loose stools, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Avoid eating contaminated food or water, in short, just take care of hygiene especially if you are trying street food. Though the disease is not life-threatening, it can still cause a lot of distress and pain and serious vomiting can cause dehydration.


Though you can catch Malaria anywhere in the world, the life-threatening disease is very common in African countries, undeveloped Asian countries and anywhere with tropical climates. Malaria is transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito that carries the Plasmodium parasite, which is then released in the bloodstream allowing it travels to the liver and reproduce or mature there. They start to affect red blood cells to the point where they can burst open.

How to avoid/ cure:

Common symptoms of malaria are high fever, profuse sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anaemia, bloody stools, convulsions, and even coma. To avoid catching the deadly disease, you can simply use an insect repellent when you are travelling to a tropical state.

Dengue Fever

Like Malaria, dengue is also a mosquito-transmitted disease that transfers through an aedes mosquito infected with a dengue virus.

How to avoid/ cure:

Common symptoms are fever, pain behind the eyes, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, skin rash that cause bleeding. The disease is often mistaken for flu in children. To avoid catching this disease, you can simply use an insect repellent, or sleep in a net.



Commonly known as flu, influenza is a respiratory illness caused by a virus and an infected person can spread the virus by coughing and sneezing, or even by shaking hand.

How to avoid/ cure:

The common symptoms of flu are fever, aching joints and limbs, headache, sore throat, cough, and runny or blocked nose start to show 1-2 days after you’re infected with the virus, which means you can transfer the virus before you even start to show you’re infected. This is why you are asked to always carry a hand sanitizer.


Commonly known as Swimmer’s regret, Schistosomiasis is caused by swimming or being exposed to contaminated freshwaters such as rivers, lakes, and ponds.

How to avoid/ cure:

Common symptoms include rash and itchy skin, fever, chills, cough, or muscle ache. Avoid getting in freshwater when you are travelling.

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