Due to recent events, I wanted to share my personal experience with you regarding medicine check-ups when staying in the tropics.
Medicine check-ups for your stay in the tropics
For those traveling to developing countries, injury, usually due to traffic road accidents, is the most common cause of mortality and morbidity. However, 50 % will develop a health problem during their trip (source: WHO).
Well, I was one of the 50 %! Unfortunately, I did not just catch a minor cold or travel diarrhea, nope, I hit the “jackpot” when traveling the Maldives and caught some parasites from a bug bite… Yay me! I was first showing symptoms a few weeks after I have returned from my trip, suffering from nausea, stomach ache, flu symptoms. A long story short: I have been having trouble for months now. After being admitted to the hospital, spending one night in isolation, they finally found out what it was and I can now finish my treatment. Believe me: it was no fun at all.
If you travel to one of the touristy resorts, you don’t need to worry that much. They are pretty much safe. However, if you are such an adventurous traveler like me, going island hopping, visiting uninhabited, local places, you should be more careful. Then, medicine check-ups should be part of your travel check list. Before AND after the trip. I can now tell you, because that is exactly what I did not do and I could have prevented my long suffering.
Check list BEFORE your trip
Bye bye bugs, bites and parasites! There are many things you can do to prevent getting sick on your travels to the tropics.
- First of all, go see a specialist near you who is an expert in the field of tropical diseases. The doctor will tell you what vaccinations you need and will also prescribe you some medication you should take along. Check the DTG for further information.
- Check the website of your federal foreign office and carefully read all health instructions.
- Buy insect repellants for your skin AND clothes. When traveling to the tropics, I can recommend NO BITE. Believe me, you will need it. Simply wearing long clothes, won’t work in tropical regions. The bugs that are active during the day will still get you. I know, what I am talking about.
- Always take along some disinfectant and always have enough cash with you to buy loads of bottled water. Never ever drink tab water, don’t even use it for your morning hygiene.
- Get a regular health check at your doctor to see, if you need to consider anything else.
Tropical Medical Check-up AFTER your trip
I recommend a tropical medical check-up when you spent three weeks or longer abroad, especially when not solely staying in tourist resorts.
- If you are already feeling unwell on your trip back home, make sure to see the doctor right away. Also, tell your doctor about your latest visit to the tropics. Tell him about any special or weird symptoms during your stay and try not to leave anything out. The slightes detail could be of great importance. Raw food, brushing teeth with tab water, fever, swallen legs, a rash, anything! Most tropical diseases can be treated very well. But if not rightfully diagnosed, you can suffer for quite some time.
- Go see your tropical specialist after 4-6 weeks for a general check-up. Thus, you can prevent any further, unnecessary complications.
I should have done the same thing! So, I hope when you are planning your next longer trip, don’t forget the medicine check-ups for your stay in the tropics.
Stay safe, lovelies!
photo credit: V’s World