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Health tips for international travel


In recent years there has been a notable increase in those who travel to tropical countries . Beyond enjoying a few days off, it is important to bear in mind that certain diseases can pose a serious health risk. That is why it is so important that travelers know each and every one of the risks they face; in this way, they can adopt the appropriate preventive measures.

It is worth noting that any health recommendation in relation to travel to exotic countries must be made on an individual basis. And, the risk of suffering from different diseases varies greatly depending on the country, as well as the area that is visited and the time of year in which it is done. Of course, it also depends on the health status of each traveler.

Thus, in order to know which are the prevention measures that the traveler should adopt and to know the health situation of the country to which he wishes to travel, it is best to go to the International Vaccination Center.

Health advice before the trip

First of all, it is advisable to point out that health-related aspects should not be left to the last minute since there are certain vaccines that must be administered months in advance. Thus, at the International Vaccination Center you can find out about the vaccines you need depending on your destination, as well as the preventive measures that you must adopt. It is also interesting to know what the local health care system is like, as well as the extent of insurance coverage.


In tropical countries, one of the greatest health risks has to do with heat stroke and dehydration , especially in the elderly and children. Therefore, it is essential to protect yourself properly from both the sun and the heat. Of course, it is essential to use a suitable sun protection cream for each skin type and tone.

As for clothing and footwear, in tropical countries garments must be made of natural materials such as cotton or linen , which allow proper perspiration; much better if they are light and light-colored. As for footwear, it must be closed, comfortable and breathable.

First aid kit

It is interesting to include in your luggage a small medicine cabinet with some healing materials, as well as common medications such as painkillers and antihistamines.


Depending on your country of destination, the administration of certain vaccines is mandatory or recommended.

Yellow fever

The fever yellow is an acute infectious viral disease; It is transmitted through the bite of mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. Vaccination against Yellow Fever is part of the regulations established by the WHO, so it carries with it the International Certificate of Vaccination , which is an essential requirement to enter certain countries in Latin America and Africa . The protection provided by the yellow fever vaccine is for life.

Tetanus and diphtheria

Tetanus is a disease widely spread throughout the world. As for diphtheria , it is a re-emerging disorder in certain countries, affecting mainly the adult population.

In Spain, the tetanus and diphtheria vaccine is part of the common vaccination schedule , so everyone should be vaccinated. Thus, when administered correctly during childhood, a single booster dose at age 65 is sufficient.

Typhoid fever

The typhoid is an infectious disease that affects the gut and is caused by a microbe; the most common symptoms are high fever and ulceration of the intestines . It occurs most frequently in developing countries and is spread through contaminated food and water.

Therefore, vaccination against typhoid fever is recommended , especially when traveling to rural areas. The effectiveness of the vaccine is limited, so special attention must be paid to hygienic measures in relation to water and food.

Hepatitis A

The Hepatitis A is a contagious viral disease causes following a virus. In the vast majority of cases, it is spread through contaminated food and water , as well as through direct contact with infected people. It is worth noting that it is one of the most common pathologies among international travelers, especially young people.

According to the World Health Organization, those areas where there is a moderate to high risk of hepatitis A are: Latin America, Africa and Asia .

Meningococcal disease

It is known as such a disorder that occurs in an epidemic way, especially in the countries that make up central Africa . Thus, vaccination against this disease is indicated for those travelers who are going to establish contact with the population, especially in rural areas , and who are going to make the trip in winter and spring.


The Cholera is an acute intestinal disease that occurs relatively frequently in developing countries; it arises in the form of epidemic outbreaks that occur sporadically. Like many of the diseases that travelers can catch in exotic countries, it is transmitted through contaminated food or water.

The truth is that the risk of a traveler contracting cholera is very low, but it is still important to pay maximum attention to the drinks and food that are consumed.


The Polio is a viral infection of a serious nature that can affect the nervous system Central . Although it is currently practically eradicated in developed countries, it can still occur in developing or underdeveloped countries.

Polio vaccination is included in the common vaccination schedule. Even so, it is recommended that those people who are going to travel to countries where the disease still exists and who are going to be in contact with the population, be immunized against it.


The Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. Transmission to humans occurs through bites or scratches from infected animals . The risk of suffering from this disorder varies greatly depending on the destination country, as well as the activities to be carried out in it.

Vaccination is especially recommended for travelers whose destination is an endemic area and who are going to carry out risky activities, such as hiking.

Japanese encephalitis

The encephalitis Japanese is a viral disease that occurs especially in rural areas of Southeast Asia , especially in countries like India. Transmission is through the bites of infected mosquitoes, especially in rice crops and pig farms.

Vaccination is advisable for all travelers over one year of age heading to endemic areas, especially those traveling for work to potentially dangerous areas such as veterinarians or farmers. Those who are going to make short stays in urban areas do not need to be vaccinated.

Health advice during the trip

In addition to the tips to take into account before starting the trip, you must pay special attention to a series of points during it. And it is that a small problem of health can ruin a vacation, and even put the traveler’s way at serious risk.

Food and drinks

As we have pointed out in the previous section, contaminated food and beverages are the main source of contagion for a wide range of diseases. Therefore, all that is consumed must be carefully selected.

  • With regard to personal hygiene, it is very important to wash your hands frequently , especially before and after eating; also immediately after going to the bathroom.
  • Of course, it is essential to ensure that the water you drink is bottled or has been properly treated . The safest drinks are hot drinks and bottled soft drinks. Similarly, you have to be careful with ice; It is not advisable to take one that has not been prepared with safe water.
  • When consuming milk or other dairy products , make sure they are properly sanitized.
  • It is always advisable to avoid the consumption of both seafood and raw fish. Food is best cooked and served hot.
  • Preparations that contain raw eggs should also be avoided as much as possible.
  • Although salads are very healthy dishes, vegetables should not be eaten raw. As for the fruit, the pieces must always be peeled personally.

One of the most common diseases among travelers is what is known as traveler’s diarrhea . The causes of it are many and today there is no 100% effective vaccine against it. One of the main complications that can occur as a result of this disorder is dehydration, so it is important to drink plenty of fluids and maintain complete rest.

Sun and heat

In certain tropical countries, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause severe burns and heat stroke. Therefore, during the trip it is important to follow a series of basic recommendations: wear a hat and sunglasses , as well as properly apply a protection cream with a factor 50 sunscreen.

As for heat, it can cause both exhaustion and dehydration; or, in the worst case, heat stroke . To avoid this, the best advice is to drink plenty of fluids, as well as consume fruits and vegetables with a high water content.


Diseases transmitted by insects, especially mosquitoes and ticks , are very common in tropical countries; Although in the vast majority of cases they are mild in nature, it is interesting to know that some of these pathologies can seriously endanger human life, and even leave permanent sequelae.

Thus, it is essential to protect against stings by taking into consideration a series of measures. When it comes to being outdoors between dusk and dawn, it is best to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants ; In addition, it is advisable to avoid dark colors, as well as intense perfumes that can attract insects.

Of course, the use of insect repellants containing DEET is essential . As for the interior of the house or accommodation, it is advisable to use anti-mosquito streamers, as well as the installation of metallic fabrics on both doors and windows. The use of over the knee boots around the bed is also very interesting; and, if they are impregnated with pyrethroids, much better.


You also have to be careful with baths in both fresh and salt water. Bathing in rivers and lakes can lead to parasitic diseases , so contact with infected waters must be avoided at all times. In the event that you have to cross riverbeds, it is safest to wear waterproof boots.

As for sea water, these types of baths do not pose any health risk in themselves. However, in some areas it is advisable to wear footwear that protects the feet from jellyfish stings, as well as color dermatitis.


Traveling to high altitude areas can be very dangerous, especially among those who have some type of cardiovascular or pulmonary disease. From 2,400 meters above sea level, there is a high risk of suffering from altitude sickness. To minimize the risk, it is advisable to drink plenty of fluids, follow a very light diet based on carbohydrates such as pasta, and not perform high intensity exercises.


Jet-Lag comprises a series of both physical and psychological symptoms related to crossing several time zones in a short time. The most frequent signs are: insomnia , irritability, lack of appetite …

Personal hygiene

And finally, when it comes to personal hygiene, it is common for travelers to sweat more than usual in exotic countries due to high temperatures and high humidity. Therefore , frequent showers are recommended , after which it is very important to dry all parts of the body well so that not the slightest trace of moisture remains.


These are all the health tips that you should take into account both before and after the trip when visiting an exotic country . It is important to remember that certain diseases do not manifest their symptoms immediately, but in some cases the signs begin to appear several weeks and even months after returning home. Thus, at the slightest suspicion that something is wrong, it is important to go to the doctor and inform him that you have made a trip in the last year to a tropical area or a developing country.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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