Travelogue is pleased once again to feature guest blogger, Erik McLaughlin, M.D. an experienced travel writer and an expert in travel medicine. When Erik talks, travelers listen.
Attention travelers! Listen to Dr. Mom! Sure, she bakes apple pie. But, she also has good advice to keep international travelers safe abroad. So much of travel safety and preventive medicine is good old fashioned common sense. Here are some tips to prevent illness and to avoid spreading illness to others.
There are several simple steps that can minimize your risk of getting sick abroad. Most of these words of medical wisdom are known to mothers and grandmothers across the country. Even though these medical ‘experts’ never went to medical school, the tips that follow are good medicine, not ‘old wives tales’.
- Wash your hands often using soap and water.
- Use alcohol based sanitizers if soap and water is not available.
- If you have the misfortune of being ill, then cover your cough!
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hands. Can you figure out why?
- Used tissues should be promptly discarded and not saved as a trip memento.
- If a trip companion or acquaintance appears ill, then keep your distance.
- If you think you have a ‘bug’, then keep away from others.
- If you have a fever, consider enjoying some solitude in your hotel room to protect others from becoming ill.
Although I am a practicing physician, I can’t improve on ‘Dr. Mom’s’ advice. Common sense abroad is your most safety strategy. This tool will not only mimimize your risk of contracting and spreading illness, but will also keep you safe on the road and on the street. As of yet, there is no travel vaccine against ‘bad judgment’, so travelers will need to remain vigilant and responsible. If you find yourself in a dicey situation, then just consider, WWMD? Asking yourself, What Would Mom Do, will show you a path to safer ground.
All of us at Travel Clinics of America wish you a safe journey. We encourage you to consult with one of our trained doctors in your area before your trip to give you travel safety advice and any necessary travel vaccinations. Your mom would want you to do this.