Traveling to new places and experiencing new things is definitely fun and fulfilling, however it is important to exercise a high degree of caution and be well-informed about health issues when traveling.
And Benjamin Franklin's famous words, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, applies to every traveler.
Dr. Paolo Luna, the director of emergency services at St. Luke’s Hospital in Manila, gives us a bit of insight on how travelerS can prevent, ensure and avoid health issues during trips.
Should a traveler see a doctor before a trip?
Dr. Luna: Uhhh… It really depends on the general well-being of the patient. If the more sick the patient, uh, the better the patient would see the doctor a few days before the travel but uh it's always best. It depends on the comorbidity that we call, where the patient is hypertensive, diabetic, and asthmatic. The more comorbids that the patient has, the better that they see a doctor a few days before the travel.
What Illnesses should Travelers be Aware of?
Dr. Luna: The most common diseases that we encounter for the travelers are the viral infections. It could be an upper respiratory tract infection, it could be a systemic viral illness, it could be an acute gastroenteritis of viral origin.
Is It Necessary to get a shot or certain vaccine before traveling?
Dr. Luna: Generally, a flu shot is okay. It prevents uh from us having the flu virus. Now vaccinations in general would help our system, our immune system, to prevent certain illnesses.
Is it safe to travel if the traveler is pregnant?
Dr. Luna: It depends on the state of the pregnancy. The more complicated the pregnancy, the less chances that the travel could be possible. But in general, if you’re pregnant, it is best to consult an obstetrician before you travel.
Should travelers purchase travel insurance?
Dr. Luna: Oh definitely. The travel insurance is very important because we don’t know if the accidents can happen anytime. So it’s always best to have travel insurance because of course when you’re traveling, all you want to do is enjoy and have fun. But in the case that disease or illnesses or accident strike, the travel insurance would cover for your, um, for your illnesses.
Always consider these simple yet important health tips, and without a doubt, you can enjoy a safe and hassle-free vacation.
Until next time, enjoy your travels!