It’s a cliche to say that travel broadens the mind, but it’s true! Packing your bags and heading out into the big open world is often cited as one of the best experiences you can have; it’s those memories that you’ll remember for the rest of your life rather than spending your youth in an office.
The experience of travelling can even change you as a person. If you’re travelling on your own or with a partner, the sense of independence that you can achieve from going on an adventure is unrivalled. There’s so much to learn by having to figure out a route, where to stay, sticking to a budget and keeping your wits about you in an unusual place filled with strangers.
Similarly, breaking out of your comfort zone can have huge benefits for you, even when you get back home. Learning to take risks and parachuting into situations that you may have never tried before means that you may be more likely to do so when you’re home. Getting inspiration and developing your confidence whilst your away could be the starting point of building your own business back in Blighty and learning to deal with sudden changes in plan can give you the flexibility to adapt to a whole range of new life experiences.
It seems that this trend is now truly catching on, with nearly 73 million UK residents visiting overseas countries in 2017, which constituted a 3% rise from the previous year and amounts to £44.8 billion worth of expenditure.
If you’re thinking of joining the many million travelling the world, you’ll have to consider whether you’re going to need any travel vaccinations. Read on to find out why it’s so important to do so.
Why Getting Holiday Vaccinations Before You Travel is Vital
As residents of a country in the western world, we’re incredibly lucky not to be exposed to some of the deadliest diseases in the world. However, for most people in the world, this is a real risk every day. If you’re planning on travelling to a tropical country, then the risk of contracting a number of different diseases increases dramatically.
With that in mind, it’s imperative to protect yourself from this risk with a vaccine from a travel clinic. Below we go into detail on some of the diseases present across the world that we can protect you against.
Hepatitis A & B
Hepatitis A and B are both liver infections that are spread across the body through faeces and blood or body fluids respectively.
Hepatitis A and B are both very rare in the UK, but can be more common across the world and is more risky for people travelling in areas with poor levels of sanitation or in people who have injected drugs. Although both hepatitises tend to pass after a number of months, they can become serious and cause liver failure in the worst cases.
Symptoms include feeling tired, feeling sick, pain in your stomach and even jaundice. Although, in most cases, the disease is not life-threatening, it can put a huge downer on your travels so it’s always best to protect yourself from it.
Typhoid fever is prominent in countries across the globe and can cause symptoms ranging from a temperature rising as high as 40C, a headache and other fever-type symptoms. The disease is a bacterial infection which can have an impact on a number of different organs and, if not treated, can become fatal.
As a highly contagious disease, it’s imperative to protect yourself against the risk of typhoid. If you’re travelling in an area with poor sanitation and your food is handled by someone who’s been infected with typhoid, it doesn’t take much for the disease to spread.
Tetanus is a disease that’s largely extinct in the UK. In 2016, there were only four cases of the disease, but it can still be found across the world. Unlike the previous diseases, tetanus can survive outside of the human body for a long period of time in soil and animal faeces. The disease cannot spread between humans, but if you have a scratch and then fall in dirt carrying tetanus, it can be contracted.
Although tetanus can be treated and is rarely fatal, if left ignored whilst out in the wilderness, it can become life-threatening.
Rabies is a rare disease, but an incredibly serious one. Almost totally eradicated from the UK – apart from in some wild bats – the disease can be found across Asia, Africa and the Americas.
The disease is almost always fatal, as it’s very hard to treat once the symptoms have actually started to appear. Some of these horrible symptoms include a high temperature, paralysis, difficulty breathing, aggressive behaviour and even hallucinations. It’s imperative to get a vaccination for this disease if you’re planning to be away for a long time and are going to be around the kind of animals that tend to carry the disease.
By not protecting yourself with a vaccine, you’re putting yourself at serious risk of catching one of these terrible illnesses. Also, it’s well known that the hospitals and health services in some of the world’s developing countries do not subscribe to the same standards as the standards we have here in the UK. So, if you do fall ill because you didn’t get a vaccine, you may contract further illnesses whilst being treated in a health clinic abroad.
A Guide To The Services Provided By a Private Travel Clinic
So, before heading off travelling it is important to seek out the services of a travel clinic. The professionals there will be able to provide you with tailored medical advice about your specific travel destination and what vaccinations they suggest you should have. They will also be able to provide you with more general information about where the malaria risk areas are, during which seasons the risk of disease increases, any areas to avoid, best practice for eating and drinking safely and advice on what type of general medication to bring with you.
After a consultation period, during which you can discover the kind of treatment you are likely to need, the practitioner will also be able to perform the vaccinations, provide prescriptions and print off any advice documents that you could need during your travels.
We understand just how important it is for people of all ages to travel the world, see new things and meet new people, but it’s also important to make sure that you’re safe and healthy doing so. By not protecting yourself, you could also be bringing contagious diseases back here to the UK. To give yourself the best chance against fighting disease whilst abroad, visit a travel clinic at least six weeks before you depart and provide them with all of the information possible so they can give you a tailored service which will be effective.
Duality Health: Your Private Clinic For Travel Injections in Northern Ireland
At Duality Health, we understand the great work that NHS practices are doing, but we also know that the state-funded health service is also under increasing pressure to keep up with demand for their health services. For many, this has lead to increasing waiting times that can make conditions worsen as time carries on. For that reason, many patients are beginning to look towards private GPs for their health concerns.
Our skilled and experienced team of GPs and nurses provide excellent levels of care to all of our patients in a timely and professional manner. As a private GP, we offer a huge range of services including private consultations, out of office care, sexual health services, family planning, women’s health, men’s health, travel vaccinations and much more.
If you would like to book a consultation, you can do so on our website or give us a ring at our Newry clinic on 02830833666 or our Dungannon clinic on 02887727703.