Planning a Trip Abroad? What Diseases to Look Out For.
It is always important to plan ahead when traveling abroad, conduct your research and make sure the country you are traveling to does not require visas or certain vaccinations to enter, and of course, do not forget to pack your travel protection plan.
Some countries may require you to have special vaccinations to enter. This is to keep you safe since there may be many illnesses that you would not regularly be exposed to in your country of residence. This is why at AXA, we have compiles a list of the most frequent illnesses so you can take the necessary precautions when traveling:
TRAVELER'S DIARRHEA 1
: One of the most common illnesses that tourist contract. Travelers Diarrhea is the name given to diarrhea caused by different types of bacteria, viruses or protozoa that are generally the result of the ingestion of infected food or water. The highest risk of exposure to this disease is found in India, Africa and parts of South America, however, any traveler can suffer regardless of age or destination.
Similar to an upset stomach, the main symptoms are usually dehydration, weakness and obviously the discomfort of having to constantly go to the bathroom. To prevent this from ruining your trip, we suggest you drink bottled water, avoid raw foods and street vendors and of course constantly wash your hands.
YELLOW FEVER 2
: This disease is transmitted by the bite of the female mosquito "Aedes aegypti" which can also transmit diseases such as chikunguña, Zika fever and the Mayaro Virus. The symptoms are usually fever, chills, backache, headache, body discomfort, vomiting and in some cases bleeding.
This type of fly, unfortunately, can be found anywhere in the world; however, outbreaks of yellow fever are more common in tropical regions of Africa and South America. Yellow fever can be prevented with a very effective and safe vaccine, as there is no specific antiviral treatment.
: Also known as Paludism, is a potentially fatal parasitic disease that is transmitted to humans also by the bite of an infected female mosquito. The first symptoms are usually fever, headache and chills, and if not treated in time the infected person’s health can become worse and there is a risk of death.
According to the latest WHO World Malaria Report, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2016, with an estimated 445,000 deaths. The regions most commonly affected by this disease are Africa, Central and South America, parts of the Caribbean, Asia, and the South Pacific.
: This disease is curable and preventable; it is caused by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, which is a bacterium that usually affects the lungs. This disease is transmitted from one person to another and is quite contagious. WHO estimates that about a third of the world's population has latent TB, they are infected but do not have an active form of the disease, therefore they are not sick and cannot spread it.
The most common outbreaks of this disease are in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. The most common symptoms are constant cough, weakness and tiredness, weight loss and sweating. Tuberculosis thankfully has several treatments with antibiotics that can help the patient to heal quickly.
: Previously called hemorrhagic fever, a serious disease that is transmitted to humans normally by wild animals and from one person to another. The WHO declares that this disease usually has a mortality rate of 50% and the main symptoms are usually a sudden onset of fever, headaches, sore throat and muscles, rashes, diarrhea, kidney and liver dysfunction and in some cases even internal and / or external bleeding.
Unfortunately, there is still not a 100% effective treatment or vaccine to cure or prevent this disease, but there are supportive treatments that are provided in hospitals like hemotherapy, immunotherapy and pharmacotherapy that can help if you are infected.
Some of the countries where outbreaks of this disease have been found are Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Gabon and Sudan.
: is an acute diarrheal disease caused by the bacillus Vibrio Cholerae, which, if not treated in time, can become fatal within hours. WHO estimates that each year there are between 1.3 and 4 million cases of cholera worldwide, and between 21,000 and 143,000 deaths caused by this disease.
The problem is that the symptoms are mild or in some cases no symptoms may appear however, the sick person should hydrate quickly and receive antibiotics. This disease can be found in some parts of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America and is caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with this bacillus.
Keep in mind that all of these illnesses , in most cases, will require immediate medical attention and if you do not have medical coverage which pays for medical expenses abroad, the treatments, medicines and hospital costs for any of these diseases may become quite high. There is a higher risk of contracting infections in tropical countries, because of the high temperatures. In countries with colder weather, you may be at risk of contracting lung disease and accidental injuries such as falling.
In summary, traveling does carry with it some level of risk. The World Health Organization estimates that about 5 out of every 100 travelers have to go to the doctor for a problem while traveling abroad.
Remember that at AXA, we offer trip protection plans, which include travel insurance coverage with a medical benefit and travel assistance services. In addition, we have one of the largest medical networks in the world with specialists and hospitals to help ensure that you have access to medical care when needed.