Health advice for travellers

ABU DHABI — Do you intend to go for summer holidays this year? If the answer is yes, you then have to be aware of travelling health risks and adopt necessary precautions.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Thu 6 Jul 2006, 10:36 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:08 PM

An expert in travel medicine has urged holiday makers in the country to make sure they undertake protection against pre-and post-travel risks. “People who opt to go for holidays, especially those to developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America should realise they will be exposed to new microorganisms, whether virus, bacteria of parasites,” warned Dr Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah, Specialist, Clinical Tropical Medicine and Member of the International Society for Travel Medicine.

In an interview with Khaleej Times, the expert said the main issue of pre-travel advice is to minimise travelling risks, including food and water precautions, malaria and environment, or weather changes. “With the booming travel industry, people are travelling to places with new health risks which they do not have in the countries where they reside,” noted Dr Abdullah. He said traveller’s advice should be tailored according to their destinations, noting different types of vaccines are vital to avoid ailments at the pre-travelling stage.

“Routine vaccine is vital for children and adults. Travellers should check whether children and adults were protected or need a booster dose. That is very important,” he advised.

He said there is ‘recommended vaccine’, which is taken according to risk factors at the destination and ranges from hepatitis A, B, meningitis, typhoid, cholera and poliomyelitis. Internationally ‘required vaccine’ against yellow fever and meningitis, in addition to cholera, even though it is not recommended by the WHO, is also of importance for travellers, stressed the expert.

“Sitting for a long time during long journeys could result in thrombosis or deep veins thrombosis for all age groups. Travellers are advised to move their legs every one hour during long flights,” said Dr Abdullah.

About people with special needs, he said patients suffering from chronic diseases should carry their medications and consult a doctor before travelling. “The important thing for travellers is pre-travelling and post-travelling consultation. People should consult a doctor should they develop any abnormal symptoms a few days after arriving home,” the expert summed up.

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