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The Most Common Traveler’s Illnesses And How To Prevent Them

The Most Common Traveler’s Illnesses And How To Prevent Them


Traveling is a great activity for almost everybody. People prepare for several month or years just to be able to travel to different countries. Traveling is fun but you have to be careful with the dangers that come with it. One of them is traveller’s illness.

Here are the most common illnesses and how to prevent them…


Cholera is a bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. It is prevalent in Indonesia and in most parts of Asia and Africa. You can also find it in Eastern Europe. You can get cholera by eating or drinking food and drinks that are contaminated by the cholera germ which is passed in stools. This disease can kill if left untreated. You will experience some mild to severe diarrhea along with vomiting and dehydration.

You can get a vaccine for this but it is only 50% effective and lasts for only 2-6 months. The best way for you to prevent getting cholera is by avoiding uncooked food and drink only bottled water from reputable sources such as supermarkets and convenience stores.


Traveller’s diarrhea can strike you anywhere. Around 20-50% of travelers experience this. You can get this by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. The best way to prevent this is to avoid uncooked meat, raw fruits and vegetables, seafood that you are unsure of, tap water, milk and other dairy products. You should also avoid ice as the water used to making it might be contaminated.

Over-the-counter medicines usually help. If you get this, be sure to get it treated right away as it can cause dehydration which can lead to death.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is prevalent in Africa, India, Mexico and Latin America. It is a viral infection of the liver. You can get this through food or water and even from person-to-person contact. Symptoms include fever that can last anywhere from 1-2 weeks and can go for as long as several months; anorexia, malaise, nausea, abdominal discomfort and jaundice. This disease has very few incidences of death though. You can prevent Hepatitis A through a vaccine. You should be vaccinated at least 4 weeks before you travel. The vaccine is 95-100% effective. Get a booster shot 6-12 months after.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a different story. It is prevalent in Africa, the Middle East, India and some islands in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. This is a liver infection that can cause extensive damage and chronic hepatitis. It can lead to liver cirrhosis. This is also a major cause of liver cancer. Transmission is by blood, needles and body fluids. You will experience fever, anorexia, malaise, nausea, abdominal discomfort and jaundice. Get a vaccine to avoid getting Hepatitis B. You need 3 doses 6 months prior to travel. The vaccine is 90-95% effective. This disease is fatal if left untreated.


Malaria affects more than 100 countries all over the world including Africa, India, Central and South America, the Middle East, Oceania and Southeast Asia. Malaria is a serious disease caused by a parasite. You can get this if a mosquito infected with malaria bites you. You will have fever and flu-like symptoms. You will also experience some chills, shaking, headaches, muscle aches and an overall feeling of tiredness.

There are 4 malaria drugs available which you can take before and during a trip. Some strains of malaria are resistant to drugs but malaria is curable. You can only die from it if left untreated. Prevention is your best defense against these diseases so be sure to have your vaccinations before leaving. You can also consult a travel doctor for more safety precautions.

My name is Henry W. I am huge fan of traveling. I go to Southeast Asian countries and Africa. I also work with several Kenya safari specialists.


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About the author

-Vagabond, editor and founder of  EVASER. Find on Facebook, follow via Twitter or view his personal site.

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