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General Health Travel Tips for Visiting Foreign Countries

When you decide to travel overseas to a new country, you obviously want to have fun, learn new things, and not get sick. The change of environment and climate and the different food and sanitation conditions all contribute to reasons why you can get sick when you travel. Luckily, there are things you can do to minimize your risk for getting sick.

We are seasoned travelers and have experienced many interesting situations with injuries and illnesses. Based on our extensive experience, we would like to share our travel health safety tips with you.

Do your research and learn as much as you can. It is important to know the health and safety risks of the places where you will be going. Learn about the diseases, vaccinations, sanitation conditions, food and water availability and condition, and how safe it is. The more you know, the better you will be able to prepare yourself and take the necessary precautions. Good places to do research is the tourism and travel board websites of the country that you will be visiting. General Internet research will also give you valuable tips and your travel doctor will be able to advise you as well.

Visit a travel doctor and get vaccinated. You need to be vaccinated for diseases like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid Fever, Cholera, Yellow Fever, and other diseases when traveling overseas. Some countries require many vaccinations and others may have very few. It all depends on what diseases are prevalent in that country. Your travel doctor will be able to inform you about which vaccinations you need. You need to start planning for this early on because vaccinations need to be administered at least 4 weeks before you leave.

Take measures against mosquitoes and insects. Insect or mosquito repellents alone are not sufficient and sometimes they hardly work. However, you should still use them as an extra prevention method. When you are in an area with mosquitoes and insects, make sure that you wear long sleeved shirts and long pants with socks that come up to at least the middle of your calf. Hats are also a good idea for keeping the insects away. No matter how hot is it, you should try and wear clothes that cover your body. You get special lightweight clothing for this purpose.

Protect yourself from the sun and heat. The climate in different countries is very different. If you are traveling to a country with a hot, humid, or tropical climate, you need take precautions. Wear sunscreen, long-sleeved clothes, and a hat when you are in the sun. Don’t stay exposed for too long. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated with water and drinks like Gatorade that contains electrolytes. It is easy to get dehydrated, so take care and be well-prepared.

As a last note, be careful about what you eat and drink. Not all food and water are safe and you should be very careful about where you buy food. You can ask around where it is safe or do your research before you go. These tips should keep you safe and prevent you from getting sick. In case something does happen, make sure you have travel insurance.

5 Things You Should Know Before You Travel to a Foreign Country

Part of your preparations for overseas travel should be to check in with a travel doctor. The travel doctor is specially trained in giving advice regarding vaccines and other health precautions you need to take when visiting specific countries. This is a very important step in your preparations, especially if you are traveling to tropical countries. When visiting your doctor, you should find out 5 important things.

1. Find out if you need any vaccines and which ones. There are some general vaccines that will be necessary and some other non-routine ones depending on where you’re going. For traveling doctors and other healthcare professionals, a full set of vaccinations is best. They will be coming in contact with various diseases, unhygienic situations, and many people. For normal travelers, your doctor will give you advice on prevention and administer the necessary vaccines. Schedule your shots at least 4 weeks before your trip because they take time to take effect.

2. Find out if you can and should take medication. General medications like painkillers, cold medicine, diarrhea medicine, and prescription medicine are things you might want to take with you. You should have a traveler’s first-aid kit with these items in. If you are taking chronic or prescription medication, have a copy of the prescription with you. You may need to present it at checkpoints or border crossings.

3. Find out how you can prevent blood clots. Blood clots are a real danger and something that you should work to prevent. People who are taking long flights, over 40, overweight, pregnant, or smoking, need to consider wearing anti-embolism stockings. There is also the option of getting an injection to help prevent the forming of clots. You should consult your doctor about this if you are prone to clotting or concerned about this.

4. Ask advice about further prevention and precautions to avoid contracting diseases or other health issues. The doctor will be able to advise you on how to prevent insect bites, how to take precautions with food and water, what types of medication or ointments you need to include in your first-aid kit, and what you can expect from the country you are going to.

5. Find out how your chronic illness will affect your travels. If you suffer from a chronic illness like diabetes, allergies, heart problems, intestinal difficulties, or immune system problems, you should talk to your regular doctor and your travel doctor and make sure that you are safe to travel. They should evaluate your health condition and advise you whether it is safe or not and also what precautions and actions you can take to keep you safe.

Health is one of the biggest concerns people have when traveling. If you take the necessary precautions, get the necessary vaccines, plan ahead, consult your doctor, and have your first-aid kit, you should have no problems. The key is to be informed and prepared and to be equipped with as much prevention measures as you can.

Important Health Information for When You Travel to Costa Rica

When you plan to travel to Costa Rica, there are certain health checks that you need to do. There are several diseases that you could contract during your travels and you need to be vaccinated before you go there. Some of the vaccinations may not be necessary if you got the shots during childhood. The general diseases vaccinations that you usually get during infancy and childhood include polio, tetanus and diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox.

If you were vaccinated as a child, you won’t need to be vaccinated again, however, some of the diseases may require a booster shot. Influenza is also considered a routine vaccination and you should make sure if you had it or not. Despite these general vaccinations, you should get vaccinated for the following diseases as well:

Hepatitis A – This is a viral disease that is transmitted through eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Vaccines are effective as a prevention measure.

Hepatitis B – This is also a viral disease and is transmitted through blood, blood products, and bodily fluids. The vaccine is a good measure for prevention, but after an incident or high-risk situation, you should get yourself checked. If you are planning a long stay overseas or travel frequently, you definitely need to get this shot.

Rabies – Rabies is a fatal viral disease with no treatment or cure once symptoms start. It is strongly recommended that you take this shot if you spend long periods of time in Costa Rica and South America. If you work with or come in contact with animals, the rabies vaccine is non-negotiable.

Typhoid – Typhoid fever can be contracted because of unsanitary conditions. If you will be spending time in places where environmental sanitation and personal hygiene is not great, you need to be vaccinated against typhoid.

Cholera – Vaccination for cholera is not generally necessary or recommended. The risk of contraction is low and there is an oral vaccine that is very effective. The oral vaccine can be taken by people like traveling doctors or other health care workers.

Malaria – Malaria is considered a low-risk disease in Costa Rica due to the large amount of other and deadly diseases that are a danger. To be safe, get malaria prevention medication before your travels. You usually need to get it a few days or weeks before you leave.

Dengue Fever – This is a viral disease that doesn’t have a vaccine yet, but is not deadly. It occurs widely in tropical countries, including Costa Ria. It is caused by day-biting mosquitoes and the best way to prevent getting it is preventing mosquito bites.

To make sure that you are fully prepared, visit a travel doctor to make sure you are good to go when it comes to vaccinations and health issues. Keep health documents like your vaccination card, insurance, health history, and your doctor’s contact information with you at all times.

Travel First-Aid Kit Essentials to Prepare You for Anything

Traveling is one of the best things you can do. It offers you many new experiences, you learn new things, you meet new people, and you see the world. However, when traveling you need to be prepared for injuries and potential health problems. This is especially important when you are traveling to foreign countries, backpacking, hiking, or going into areas with tropical diseases. Your first step to ensuring your good health is to find out if you need any vaccinations to visit your destination countries. The second step is to make yourself a travel first-aid kit.

Your first aid kit should be made of a durable material like plastic and should have compartments. The size will depend on the length of your trip and whether you need more or special medications of some sort. You can use a standard first-aid kit and customize it or you can start it from scratch and build your own.

Your first-aid kit should include the following items:

Strip bandages of different sizes. You will most likely get some scratches and scrapes and a normal strip bandage is best for those. Different sizes prepare you for different sized scrapes and different parts of your skin, for example, finger versus leg.

Antibiotic ointment. This is a handy addition to make sure that wounds don’t get infected. You should always wash and sterilize any wound before adding dressing or a bandage, but this ointment is just an extra precaution.

Antiseptic wipes. This is good to help clean wounds. If you don’t have water or cleaning equipment with you, these wipes can help clean a wound before putting on a bandage. You should, however, try to wash it properly soon.

Scissors. Scissors are always useful in a first-aid kit. You only need a small pair for cutting medical tape, bandages, gauze, etc.

Gauze. You will need some gauze in case of larger wounds than cuts and scrapes. Choose larger pads of gauze that will be suitable for your leg. You can always cut these smaller when needed.

Tweezers. Tweezers are great for removing splinters and other foreign things from your skin. Keep them in your kit just in case.

Medical adhesive tape. The tape is used to secure gauze, dressing, and normal bandages. When the weather gets hot or wet, bandages tend to stop sticking. This tape will help secure them.

Painkillers. Take a bottle of painkillers with you for those inevitable headaches, bumps, bruises, or muscle aches.

Oral rehydration powders or syrups. In foreign countries, you might pick up a stomach bug or diarrhea. This could cause severe dehydration. If you are not used to very hot or humid weather, you may also experience dehydration. Dehydration can be deadly and you need to make sure you have some oral rehydration options other than water.

Cold medicine. When you are exposed to a new environment, you might catch a cold as your body is adjusting. Have some cold medicine to prevent it from getting out of hand and spoiling your trip.

Insect repellent, anti-itch ointment, nausea medicine, and water purification tablets are also good options to round of your kit. Add any chronic medication that you take and you are all set for your adventure.

5 New Alternative Therapies Used to Treat Infectious and Tropical Diseases

Infectious diseases are a big problem across the world. According to experts, infectious and tropical diseases are not disappearing or getting less dangerous. In fact, it rather seems that we need to start being prepared in areas where these types of diseases are not prone to be found. Antibiotics and vaccines have been the go-to medications for preventing and curing infectious diseases, but it seems there is a need for alternative methods.

Doctors are now starting to use combination treatments to help improve the chances of success or to treat cases where the patient isn’t showing the necessary response. There are five main alternative therapies that are currently being used in combination with traditional treatments, or by themselves, to treat and cure infectious diseases.

Image credit: INRNG

Alternative Therapy 1: Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy

Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UBI) therapy is used to treat blood-borne viruses. It offers a treatment option for people with viral infections that may not have other options. The therapy works through a process of intravenous oxidative therapy. This therapy is very safe, requires no drug administration, and is not expensive. Some of its main effects include increasing the absorption of oxygen, battling fungal, bacterial, and viral growth, and increasing the body’s ability to detoxify itself.

Alternative Therapy 2: Airnergy Spirovital Therapy

Airnergy Spirovital Therapy also works with oxygen. This therapy involves a specialized device that turns normal oxygen into singlet oxygen which is a form that the body absorbs easier. This therapy is great for cellular function and can help with maintenance, prevention, and building up of cells. The main effects include improving the immune system, stimulating self-healing, and improving metabolic regulation.

Image credit: Sammasatiwellness.com

Alternative Therapy 3: Biomagnetic Therapy

Biomagnetic therapy involves the use of magnets that is placed over specific organs for a certain length of time. This process helps to restore the pH balance of the body as well as restore other biological factors. The main principle behind this therapy states that all disease or dysfunction in the body is caused by an imbalance in the pH levels. If these levels are put back in balance, the health problem will go away.

Alternative Therapy 4: Ozone (O3) Therapy

Ozone therapy has been used for many years as an effective method for healing certain conditions. Its use with infectious diseases helps to increase oxygenation, detoxification, and stimulating the immune system. Some of the effects of ozone therapy include rendering viruses, fungi, and bacteria inactive, enhancing circulation, stimulating enzymatic activity, and increasing tissue oxygenation.

Image credit: Paracelsus-Magazin.ch

Alternative Therapy 5: Spagyric Medicine

Spagyric medicine makes use of herbs and plants to help treat diseases. These medicines originated in Europe and combine different natural ingredients to make a dynamic healing formulation. These medicines help to regulate organs, biological systems, and to improve detoxification.

All of these options are non-invasive and many of them use oxygen in its different forms to heal. When these alternative therapies are used in combination with traditional methods and tailor-made for a specific patient, the results will be astounding.

5 Things to Look for in Your Travel Doctor

When traveling to a new country, especially the ones with tropical and deadly diseases, you need to take all the necessary precautions to ensure you stay healthy. I can tell you horror stories about people who didn’t get the necessary vaccinations before they left and about people who contracted tropical diseases that have caused them health problems that will last until they die. When traveling, you need to educate yourself and have a travel doctor. To get the best travel doctor, follow these tips:

1. Choose a doctor who is a travel or tropical medicine specialist. Find a doctor who is a specialist in travel medicine and/or tropical diseases. It is even better if you find a specialist that specializes in the country where you are traveling to.

2. Choose a doctor who has personal travel experience and who has practiced in developing nations. First-hand experience on traveling and how medicine works in other countries will make your doctor the best option. A doctor who hasn’t experienced these things themselves may not be able to fully understand all the implications, diagnoses, and other factors.

3. Choose a doctor who listens well. It may not seem like a big deal to have a doctor who is a good listener. However, you need a doctor who you can communicate with, who can listen to your needs, and give you the correct advice and treatment.

4. Choose a doctor who has a good network of local and international colleagues. A doctor who has a wide and varied network to consult will be better equipped to get you the right answers and advice for your specific situation. When it comes to tropical diseases it often happens that doctors need to confer with colleagues to confirm the diagnosis or treatment.

5. Choose a doctor who returns your calls and emails. You need to have a doctor who you can rely on to respond to your communication. Doctors are busy and shouldn’t be harassed, but in the case of serious illness or tropical diseases, you may need to have more constant contact.

A travel doctor who offers all these things is a good choice for your healthcare at home and in a foreign country.

5 Most Common Types of Alternative Medicines and Treatments

Alternative medicine options and practices have become more common practice in recent years. Most of these treatments have studies and evidence to prove that it has validity and can be effective. A lot of alternative treatments and therapies originated in Asia, India and some are from South America. Naturopathy is especially common in Costa Rica and South America due to a large amount of naturally healing plants. Traveling doctor teams have started to include alternative medicine practitioners because of the benefits and requests.
Common types of alternative medicine include:

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is based on the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself. This practice makes use of treatments made from natural ingredients. The basic principle is to administer a very small dose of an active ingredient which then makes you ill to make you better. When the medicine is administered, your body is stimulated to activate its healing abilities.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a practice where the practitioner or hypnotist puts the patient into an altered state. Once the patient is in the altered state, the hypnotist makes subtle suggestions that will help improve the patient’s well-being. It is often used to help people quit smoking, lose weight, and treat insomnia.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest forms of medicine in the world and originated in India. It is based on maintaining a healthy life energy and to avoid imbalances. Ayurvedic medicines are made from plant-based ingredients and focus on curing imbalances.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic diagnoses and treatments focus on re-aligning the spine and as a result improving the nervous and immune systems. The chiropractor strategically manipulates the joints, spine, and soft tissue to ease pain, improve posture, improve the immune system functions, and rehabilitate injuries.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a Chinese practice that aims to improve the flow of Qi or the life force. Needles are placed in the skin at strategic points to get rid of blockages and improve the flow of energy. It is most often used for pain relief in the muscles and knees.

There are many more alternative medicine and treatment options and many people swear by them. These practices are not yet accepted everywhere and many people believe it to be pseudoscience and ineffective. However, many people use these medicines and claim they are effective.

5 Steps to Becoming a Traveling Physician

Becoming a traveling physician or medical professional can be very rewarding. It offers the opportunity to help people in different countries, to experience different cultures and learn about different environments, to travel, and to earn extra money. Professionals who decide to become traveling doctors are often either newly qualified practitioners who want to help out struggling countries or experienced professionals who need a change of pace. The steps to becoming a traveling physician include:

1. Study and qualify as a doctor. Complete your medical degree and specialize in a specific area. Specialization may open more opportunities as a traveling physician so complete your residency and learn from the best. If you can perform general healthcare procedures and add a specialized field, you will find it easier to find a traveling physician job.

2. Pass your board exams and get certified. To become a doctor, you need to complete several exams to get certified and registered. If you are working on a sub-specialty, you may need to complete further board exams. Once this is completed, you are ready to start looking for a job.

3. Research recruiting firms and employment options. Locum tenens or traveling physician recruiting companies can help your search for employment. Choose a company that has a good reputation and will be best able to place you where you want to go. Ensure that these companies know about any specialties or special skills you have as this will help them to accurately place you. Also, look at job opportunities online.

4. Accept employment opportunities. Once you have found the job you are looking for, accept it and complete the necessary paperwork. Make sure that you know exactly where you’re going and what your job will entail.

5. Prepare for your journey. Traveling doctors tend to work in distant areas that are far from technology and civilization. Make sure that you get the necessary vaccinations, clothing, and medical kits for where you are going. Also, apply for the necessary visas and other legal documentation allowing you to practice outside of your home country.

By the end of this process, you should be ready to take on your new adventure as a traveling doctor. The process may take several years to complete, but we are sure that it is all worth it.