Every day we see photos and videos of family and friends having amazing holidays overseas. What's not so obvious are the risks of overseas travel. As well as human, food and water-borne diseases, biting insects also carry potentially fatal diseases and are being recorded in countries that most of us may not think are dangerous. Malaria, dengue, yellow fever and Zika are being found in the Pacific Islands and South East Asia, common holiday destinations for New Zealand families.
The best protection against disease or sickness is to be prepared before you travel.
Before you go
- Seek consultation with a travel medicine specialist at least 6 to 9 weeks before travelling.
- Find out which countries have reported cases of mosquito-borne diseases.
- Ask for advice about all vaccinations, medications and personal protection products (such as insect repellents) for the destinations you will visit.
- First aid and medical kits containing regular and special medicine and accessories should be kept on hand at all times.
- Ensure you have evacuation and travel insurance to protect you in case of emergency overseas.
While you're away
- Take precautions against mosquito borne infections. Remember to take malaria tablets if required and always use an insect repellent that meets World Health Organisation guidelines such as Repel or Active Duty Insect Repellents. Repel Tropical and Ultra products have been tested and proven to provide 100% protection against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito (which carries Zika, dengue and other diseases) for up to 8 hours.
- Mosquitoes will bite through your clothes, so treat your clothing as well as your skin. Repel and Active Duty Permethrin Treatment Kits contain all you need to treat your clothing and bedding as an added barrier against biting insects.
- Verify the safety of all food and water before consumption.
- Ease sunburn, bites and stings, rashes and other skin irritations with Nature’s First Aid. If you will be doing lots of physical activity (or more than usual) pack PROphysio to help ease your aches and pains.
- Limit all contact with animals. Remember that as cute as they may look, many animals will bite and animal bites and scratches can transmit rabies.
- If fever develops during or after your trip seek medical advice as soon as possible.
When you get back
- Thoroughly clean all equipment and gear you've used on your trip.
- Keep a look out for signs of fever, coughs or rashes and seek medical advice if any symptoms appear.
- Share any advice you've learned on your trip with family and friends and encourage them to seek professional travel advice before their next overseas adventure.
For more information speak to your travel professional. Find a clinic near you.