Common Health Issues of Travellers

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Travelling is sure thrilling and invigorating, but it carries several health risks as well. According to, up to 65% of travellers experience a health problem during their trip. Most of these are mild illnesses such as diarrhea, respiratory infections, and skin problems. That’s why it’s essential that you get all the necessary vaccination if you’re travelling to the country where you will be at high risk of getting infected by malaria or some other illness.


One of the most common illnesses that happen on a trip is diarrhea. The reason behind it is that while we’re travelling, we forget that we’re not eating food that we prepared at home but such that contains entirely unfamiliar ingredients and we can’t know for sure how they’ve been cooked. Tap water, ice and fruit and vegetables washed in tap water can all potentially cause diarrhea if the water isn’t clean enough. It’s vital that you’re always hydrated and that your hands are always clean. If you notice blood in diarrhea or you end up with a high fever, you’ll need to use antibiotics and it’s best if you seek a doctor’s advice.

Respiratory illnesses

A common cold accompanied by muscle aches, ear pressure, slight fever and a runny nose is one of the illnesses travellers usually end up with on their trips. You can use nasal decongestants and control your fever with paracetamol to feel better in a day or two if the fever hasn’t been around for more than a day. If the symptoms start to worsen, you should visit a doctor because more serious illnesses tend to start as a common cold. To alleviate ear pressure, use nasal steroid sprays. Stay hydrated and don’t push yourself too hard but take a day or two to rest even though you may miss out on a few adventures.

Back injuries

Depending on the type of transportation you choose, you may even end up sitting for more than 12 hours while going from one destination to another. Long sitting as well as mountain climbing, mountain biking and some other activities can also cause back injuries and back pain. Back injuries require immediate care and treatment, which is why it’s vital that you visit an experienced doctor. Doctor Timothy Steel, for example, is Australia’s well-known neurosurgeon who keeps his patients updated by writing his own journal. Feel free to check out dr Timothy Steel’s neurosurgery journal and look for all the information you need about the type of injury you had, what the potential treatment may include as well as the results that you’ll see after the treatments.

Jet lag

Flying from one continent to another will always have consequences for our health, and jet lag is certainly one of the worst. If you travel from west to east, you’ll feel much worse because it is harder for the body to adapt to a shorter day than to a longer one. While there is no medication for jet lag, you can still do a few things to prevent being wide awake at 3 AM and feeling groggy at lunchtime. Let as much daylight into your room as possible when you need to be up, and drink coffee to help you stay alert. After a few days, you’ll get accustomed to the new time and will be ready for the new round of jet lag when you go back home.

Bladder infection

Bladder infections are another serious problem that can happen to travellers because they are often exposed to various public bathrooms which are not the cleanest places. Bladder infections occur mostly to women because they get in contact with toilet seats more often than men do, and those are precisely the spots where bacteria are most widespread. Furthermore, wiping front to back after using the toilet is a good way to prevent bacteria from the back entering the urinary tract. If you experience symptoms such as an urgent need to urinate or inability to do so for a while or darker and stronger smelling urine, you should see a doctor because a potential urinary infection might be the problem.

As much as it can be exciting, travelling can also come with certain risks of illnesses. Therefore, it’s essential that you are careful where you eat and what water you drink and wash hands in. Watch for bladder infections, and be careful not to injure your back if you engage in extreme activities so that your trip can be carefree.

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