Heading South Soon?

Dreaming about a warm, sunny beach in a tropical paradise? If you are heading south this winter, I bet you are not dreaming of traveler’s diarrhea, dengue fever , or malaria , which can be found in Paradise, too.

To prevent diarrhea, don’t drink the water, brush your teeth in it, have drinks with ice cubes or frozen blended drinks. Don’t eat food unless it is piping hot and thoroughly cooked. No fresh fruit or vegetables unless they are peeled. Mangoes, papaya, pineapple and banana can all be peeled. It’s a very good idea to get vaccinated for hepatitis A, a viral infection of the liver, transmitted from contaminate foods and water. Staying at a resort that tells you their water is filtered? Still don’t drink the water and follow all the precautions because you don’t know what kind of filtration system is used and how well it is maintained. It is a good idea to bring a prescription antibiotic to self treat diarrhea just in case.

Avoid mosquito bites day and night. One bite from one mosquito can result in a case of dengue fever or malaria. Dengue fever, nicknamed broke bone fever, is increasing in the tropics. There is no treatment or vaccinations, so the only protection is by covering up and using 30% DEET insect spray all day and night. Find out whether you need to also take malaria pills before you go.
To get information, consult a travel clinic and the CDC web site on travel health. A visit to a travel clinic will be sure your immunizations are current and will provide you with prescriptions for traveler’s diarrhea or malaria. Don’t want to worry about malaria or dengue fever? Consider talking to a travel clinic before you book your trip for advice.

So, when you are laying on that beach , the only thing you’ll need to worry about is getting sunburned. Then the only things you’ll bring home will be great photos, good memories and a few souvenirs.
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