Over the last few years there has been a steady rise in travellers seeking an alternative holiday outside of Europe. Places such as South East Asia have become popular places to visit. With these new destinations come added risks, such as typhoid, to the normal traveller and often people are unaware of these hidden risks.
Preparation is key and prevention is better than cure!
As a Travel Health Nurse working for Nomad I spend my time educating travellers about the risks they may encounter and using preventative measures such as vaccination. I spend the rest of my time working as a senior nurse in a London Emergency department and we have experienced an increase in people returning from these countries with a variety of tropical illnesses. The common trend is lack of preparation and knowledge. Not all travellers consult a specialist travel clinic such as Nomad and some book holidays last minute, so are unable to complete many vaccinations.
The common trend is lack of preparation and knowledge. Not all travellers consult a specialist travel clinic such as Nomad and some book holidays last minute, so are unable to complete many vaccinations
We are now seeing more cases of travellers returning unwell and recent cases of Typhoid fever. Typhoid fever is a bacteria infection spread through contaminated food and water. It is common in countries with poor sanitation and hygiene. The illness can develop 1 to 3 weeks after exposure and often presents as fever, headache, confusion and abdominal pain. If left untreated it can lead to many serious health complications and become a medical emergency. The disease can be prevented by ensuring you drink bottled water, eating food prepared safely and a pre-travel vaccination that lasts for 3 years. Vaccination is vital for those travelling to a country where Typhoid fever is common and when travellers cannot guarantee safe food and water.
At Nomad we advocate the 8 week rule for any budding traveller. Visiting a travel health clinic 6-8 weeks prior to your trip will allow sufficient time to have all the necessary vaccinations and to get the optimal effect. When this is not possible, seeking the right information is important to equip you with the knowledge to stay safe when travelling and not letting it ruin your holiday.
- Have a specialist Travel Health consultation ideally 6-8 two weeks before you travel.
- Be careful what you eat and drink. BOIL IT, COOK IT, PEEL IT OR FORGET IT!
- Avoid uncooked food.
- Only drink bottled or cooled boiled water.
- Use bottled or boiled water to brush your teeth and do not use tap water.