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Travel health tips
People who travel overseas have up to a 50 per cent chance of suffering a travel-related illness. While most travel-related illness is minor, some very serious infectious diseases are endemic in some parts of the world. All travellers should be prepared for travel and be aware of health issues and measures to protect themselves from sickness.
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Before you travel
There are many things you can do to prepare for a healthy holiday: • • • • • • Have a medical check-up. Make sure you are healthy before you travel. Update your vaccinations and ask about other immunisations. Pack a medical kit for yourself and any children travelling with you. Make sure you pack enough of any medications you need, or take a prescription. Organise travel insurance, including cover if you need to be evacuated to a suitable hospital. Have a dental checkup. Have a vision check and pack a spare pair of glasses.
You may want to arrange vaccinations or drugs to protect against diseases such as hepatitis, typhoid or malaria. In fact, some countries legally require travellers to have certain vaccinations, such as yellow fever. As you will need to have some vaccinations weeks or months before travel, it is best to see your doctor six to eight weeks before you go. However, if you have to travel at short notice, you can still have some vaccines. Your doctor will be able to advise which vaccines are suitable depending on: • • • • • Your medical history and age Your destination and likely accommodation The season in which you are travelling The length of stay The type of travel, for example bus tour or backpack.
Tips for older travellers
For older people, the risk of death or serious illness while travelling is the same, or even less, than staying at home. However, planning is important and older travellers should consider the following...