How To Use Twitter To Avoid Illness Outbreaks Traveling Abroad
The whole world is now tweeting and apart from the social aspect, using Twitter to steer clear of holiday illness hotspots is an excellent way to make sure your precious package holiday is not spent in the loo.
Even hospital trusts have Twitter feeds now – but by keeping up-to-date with relevant holiday website feeds such as Tripadvisor or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, holidaymakers can check on any regular outbreaks of holiday food poisoning at an hotel or holiday destination before they book – or while at their holiday resort.
Keeping up with outbreaks of serious holiday illnesses like cholera, E.coli or Legionnaires’ disease is especially important for travellers on off-the beaten track holidays, where the local infrastructure and medical care might not be as developed as in the EU.
But package holidaymakers on multicentre holidays also need to be aware if they are heading to a resort where there might be an outbreak of serious holiday illness, like salmonella – especially if the hotel they are heading to is at the centre of the illness.
The Best Twitter Feeds To Use
The World Health Organization’s Twitter feed can be invaluable to backpackers, as it runs regular updates on incidences of illnesses like swine flu or bird flu, as well as health conditions in holiday areas which may be close to regions with outbreaks of notifiable illnesses – or diseases which have spread after a natural disaster or monsoon floods.
Health Twitter feeds like NHS Choices and the Department of Health are usually updated when major outbreaks of illness occur – but newspapers now all have Twitter feeds and will, of course, be first with the news of any illness outbreaks.
Local Twitter feeds can also keep holidaymakers healthy – if you can speak the language of the country you are visiting, start following a Twitter feed local to your holiday destination some weeks before you go in case there is news of any holiday illness like Legionnaires’ disease. See your GP if it is likely you will be visiting an area where healthcare may be limited or antibiotics not available.
And finally, help keep other holidaymakers safe by using Twitter to alert tourists and travellers of any health outbreaks you encounter or hear about on your travels – don’t be alarmist about it and don’t broadcast any health warnings unless you are sure they are true.
But tour operators and hotels have a legal obligation under the Package Travel Regulations 1992 to make sure food preparation and hygiene standards are maintained, so if salmonella rears it head round the all inclusive buffet at your holiday hotel, tweet it to beat it.
Holiday illness outbreaks at hotels can continue to ruin holidays up until the problem has been fixed. By making a complaint or claim against the tour operator, the illness can be brought to attention and stopped in it’s tracks before it ruins more holidays for holidaymakers.