4 Diseases You Might Catch While Traveling

There are many factors that play a role in the occurrence of disease and travel is one of the important factors that can play a role in the emergence and the rate at which the disease spreads. According to some studies, a large number of people are suffering or are diagnosed with infectious diseases each year and it has been observed that most people catch the disease while traveling.

There are many ways through which one can prevent themselves from developing infectious diseases and vaccination is the most important step to be taken before traveling. Vaccination reduces the risk of developing diseases to a large extent. When an individual travel, the risk of developing infectious diseases increases at a high rate and there are some precautions that need to be taken before traveling abroad such as gain a complete knowledge about the diseases that are common in the country you are planning to visit, get vaccinated. Also, understand how infections are transmitted that can help you avoid getting sick.

Here is a list of some of the diseases that are travel related diseases and people are more likely to catch while traveling.

1. Traveler’s diarrhea

Traveler’s diarrhea is one of the diseases that affect millions of people who travel to countries each year. According to some studies, more than 50% of people who travel from developed countries to developing countries are affected by this disease. Traveler’s disease is a disease which occurs due to ingestion of food and water contaminated with feces. The main reservoirs for the pathogens that cause traveler’s diarrhea are good and water contaminated with fecal matter such as unsafe food and beverage, uncooked or poorly cooked meat and tap water.

Usually, traveler’s diarrhea lasts for one to five days and in some cases it can last for a week, accompanied by abdominal cramps, cramps, nausea, vomiting, bloating and headache and fever. There are a number of things an individual having traveler’s diarrhea can do to reduce the symptoms associated with this disease and drinking safe and boiled water is the most important step to reduce the effects of this disease. Also, avoid using tap water in the high risk area, even for brushing teeth and if you are using it, do not swallow it. Always wash your hands and do not use ice in the drink.

2. Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is one of the diseases that are quite common in travelers. Therefore vaccination is highly recommended to people who are traveling to countries where hepatitis A is common. Hepatitis is defined as an inflammation in the liver. It is a severe liver disease which is caused by the hepatitis A virus. The liver is one of the most important organs required for the functioning of the human body as it processes nutrients, filters the blood and fight infections. In an infected person, hepatitis A is found in the stool and it can be transmitted from one person to another when an infected person does not wash its hand properly and contaminates the food.

People infected with Hepatitis A may have no symptoms or they have a wide range of symptoms such as fever, stomach pain, diarrhea, tiredness, yellow skin, and dark yellow urine. Usually, these symptoms appear 2 to 6 weeks after an exposure and last for less than 2 months.

There is a vaccine that will help in preventing the emergence of this disease. Two doses of vaccine are required for the lasting protection. The travelers traveling to countries where hepatitis A is common should get the vaccination done before the departure.

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3. Meningococcal disease

Meningococcal disease is an infectious disease which is caused by the bacteria known as Neisseria Meningitidis. It is characterized by the inflammation in the lining that covers the brain and the spinal cord and it is accompanied by a wide range of symptoms such as fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, and an increased sensitivity to light. Typically, the symptoms develop three to seven days after exposure to the bacteria. According to the research, Meningococcal disease is one of the leading infectious diseases. Therefore, it is recommended to take the vaccination to prevent or reduce the risk of developing this infectious disease.

Meningococcal disease is highly contagious, which means that it can be spread from person to person through the exchange of respiratory or throat secretions. Bloodstream infection is very common in meningococcal disease and this infection can cause damage to the walls of blood vessels. Meningococcal disease is a severe disease and is associated with multiple complications such as brain damage, hearing loss, kidney damage, and limb amputations. The diagnosis of this disease is highly important as if it is left untreated it can lead to the development of complications. This disease can severely impair the quality of life of an individual.

4. Human African trypanosomiasis

Human African trypanosomiasis is also known as sleeping sickness and it is a vector borne parasitic infection that is caused by a flagellated trypanosome panosome protozoan. It is transmitted by Glossina flies. Some other routes of transmission of this disease are also possible but are considered to be the rarer causes and some of them may include sexual, blood transfusion, organ transplantation, and laboratory accidents.

The clinical manifestation of this disease is highly dependent on the parasite subspecies, host response and the stage of the disease. Typically, this disease go through two stages, a first stage is hemolymphatic stage and it is followed by a second stage, meningo encephalitic stage. It is a stage in which the bacteria cross the blood brain barrier and invades the central nervous system.  Human African trypanosomiasis is associated with a wide range of symptoms and it includes neurological disturbances such as sleep disorder, headache, and certain endocrine disturbances. Mental changes are also common in this disease and it can cause symptoms like emotional lability, apathy, indifference, aggressive behavior, confusion, and manic episodes.

We all love to travel and we all should travel. But, we should always take some precautions before traveling to some other country. Share this post with your family and friends and create awareness among them. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!!