Amazonas, Brazil | Neil Palmer

How Not to Get a Deadly Disease
During Your Trip


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Amazonas, Brazil | Neil Palmer

How Not to Get a Deadly Disease During Your Trip


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by Taj Bates

I felt like a walking Patient Zero.

I was two weeks from touching down in the Amazon rainforest and had several live viruses swimming through my veins.

Viruses I had put there voluntarily, mind you, during a recent round of immunization shots.

This is the unglamorous side of travel. The stuff you won’t see amongst those wanderlust-inducing photos on Instagram.

Travelling can be fun, exhilarating and life-changing. But it can also be deadly if you fail to prep accordingly.

Here are 5 key ways to stay disease-free during your travels.




STEP 1


Check the CDC




STEP 1


Check the CDC


The Ebola virus | Frederick Murphy, CDC

A deadly outbreak can flare up anywhere; anytime; and it can spread like wildfire within weeks.

I once cancelled an entire trip at the last minute during a major Ebola outbreak. While I hated having to do so, upon reading up on Ebola, I knew it was way too risky to go anywhere near the region.

Before you book your plane ticket, check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Travelers’ Health website for any alerts or recent outbreaks in the countries you plan to visit.

Then check the CDC website again a few days before you’re scheduled to fly out.

Doing so could keep you from unwittingly putting yourself in harm’s way.



STEP 2


Get Immunized




STEP 2


Get Immunized



While you’re on the CDC website, also check to see what immunizations and preventative medications (like malaria pills) you should get before your trip.

You should also check the visa guidelines for the places you plan to visit.

Some countries may require you to have certain vaccinations before you can enter the country (e.g., one must have a valid, yellow fever immunization certificate to visit certain countries on the African continent).

If you live in a metropolitan area, check to see if there are any travel clinics nearby (this is not an exhaustive list).



STEP 3


Avoid Mosquitos Like the Plague




STEP 3


Avoid Mosquitos
Like the Plague



Despite what we learned in school, man is not at the top of the food chain.

Mosquitoes are.

Those little buggers are mini kamikaze pilots, armed to take you down with a deadly strain of malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, et. al.

I’ve been on six continents, and I have encountered mosquitoes on every single one of them.

So how can you significantly decrease your chance of getting bitten by a kamikaze mosquito? It’s all in how you dress, how you smell and how you sleep.


READ FULL ARTICLE



STEP 4


Be Water Wise




STEP 4


Be Water Wise



When we travel overseas, we expose our body to pathogens it isn’t used to.

This is especially the case when it comes to local tap water and groundwater.

Local water may contain native, non-lethal pathogens to which your body isn’t accustomed and drinking it could cause diahrrea, giardia, hepatitis A or other illnesses that can cast a pall on your trip.

Worse yet, in many parts of the world, due to sub-standard sanitation methods or contaminated groundwater, local water may contain deadly pathogens like typhoid and cholera.


READ FULL ARTICLE


STEP 5


Keep It Under Wraps




STEP 5


Keep It
Under Wraps



You lock eyes during a long haul train ride…

You bond during a sailing voyage, swapping stories from adventures of years gone by…

You fall into the rhythm of each other’s aura during a lively and music-infused street festival.

Lots of beautiful and beautifully fit people travel or work in the travel-industry. And they tend to be more curious, open-minded and erudite, which is sexy as hell.

So it’s not surprising that, according to the CDC, 20 percent of travellers have casual sex with a ‘new friend’ during their time abroad.