Medical Advice When Travelling Abroad

When you're travelling to a different country, it's important to do your research. Follow any health advice, and always heed any warnings. Different places in the world put you at higher risk of infection and disease- and so when you're planning your trip, this isn't something to overlook. Don't let it spoil your travel plans or let it put you off; providing the Foreign Office has said it's safe then you are okay to proceed. Just be sure to take all the necessary precautions. Here are some crucial things to consider when you're travelling abroad.


Some countries don't require any special vaccinations, although there are many that do. This site has more advice on what's advised or required for different countries. Common travel vaccinations include diptheria, polio, tenatus, Hepatitis A and cholera- if you're travelling from the UK these are free on the NHS. Other vaccines to consider depending on the country you're visiting are Hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, tuberculosis and yellow fever. These usually cost around £50 per vaccine, although of course you can't put a price on your health. So if there's any risk, just pay the money. If you're travelling with children or babies, make sure they have had all of their regular childhood vaccinations and boosters. This is essential even if you're not going to a high risk place.


Some diseases will be more prevalent at different times of year. The rainy season for example often sees diseases like dengue, leptospirosis and influenza run rampant in certain parts of the world. If a high risk country is on your travel bucket list, consider the time of year and book wisely to avoid unnecessary risk. 


If you're travelling to an area where mosquitoes are an issue, there are a number of ways you can protect against them. First, find out when the mosquitoes in the area are most active. In some places they bite most in the daytime and in others it's at dawn and dusk. Knowing when you're most likely to get bitten means you can take additional precautions during these hours. Staying away from areas where mosquitoes are often found such as near marshes or any stagnant pools of water is also essential. Wear full length clothing items and 'closed' shoes as opposed to sandals or flip flops. And use mosquito repellent products including sprays and wrist bands to deter them as much as possible. You can pack a mosquito net to hang over your bed which will stop you from being bitten in the night. Some of the diseases spread by mosquitoes include malaria, dengue, zika virus, yellow fever and West Nile virus. These are extremely serious and fatal in some cases and so the right protection is paramount to your safety.


Stray dogs and cats are an issue in certain parts of the world. Keep away from animals since rabies can be prevalent, and is a disease which has no cure. Bites, licks and scratches can all spread the disease. A pre- exposure vaccine is essential, although if you're exposed to rabies it's still important to get immediate medical advice.

While it can be scary considering the illnesses and infections that can be caught while travelling, just be sure to follow safety advice. Have any vaccinations you need, and also keep your wits about you. Common sense is essential, don't put yourself in any unnecessary risk or danger and contact a doctor or hospital right away if you believe you've come into contact with anything harmful.

How you do stay safe when you're travelling?