Avoid Unpleasant Diseases while Traveling

It would be a shame to ruin a vacation that was properlyplanned after a careful review of cheaptravel options, including cheap airplane tickets, cheapdeals, discounthotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, bycatching a weird disease while traveling.

While it is not unusual to return home with a cold or the fluthat you picked up while away, the following weird diseases are ones you wantto do your best to avoid, according to Heather Davis:

·     Traveler’sAmnesia (also referred to as Transient Global Amnesia) comes with symptomswhere the sufferer wakes up in a place with no memory of how he or she gotthere or who he or she is.  Although thisdisease may not be caused by travel, it may be travel related originating fromconflicts at home or work and financial stress. It could also be related to the drug triazolam (frequently used tominimize jet lag), and there have been instances of people suffering fromtransient global amnesia after taking too much of a sleep aid.


·     Swimmer’sregret (Schistosomiasis) symptoms are a rash and itchy skin.  When accompanied by fever, chills, cough, ormuscle ache, this disease needs to be treated. Schistosomiasis is contracted when someone has been exposed (usually byswimming) to contaminated freshwater in rivers, lakes, or ponds.  This disease is most common in certain areasof Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East.  Speak to your travel doctor regarding yourplans before departing.  While there isno preventative medicine, treatment immediately upon return can make a majordifference.  Savvy travelers would stickto oceans and pool water for swims.


·     Hookworm’ssymptoms are itchy feet and painful blisters found most often in a tropicaldestination.  The swelling that startsshortly thereafter is a clear indication that the problem is not harmless bugbites.  Walking barefoot on the beach isthe easiest way of contracting this disease. Hookworm larvae live in sand and can penetrate your skin as you walkthrough the sand.  Your best defense isto wear flip flops on the beach and avoid skin to sand contact in areas thatmight be affected.


·     SleepSickness (called African Trypanosomiasis) actually disrupts sleep cycles if itprogresses to a second stage.  Initialsymptoms tend to include fever, itching, joint pain, and headache.  Victims are exposed to this disease throughthe bite of an infected tsetse fly. These flies are common across sub Saharan Africa. 


Left untreated African trypanosomiasis cancause irreparable neurological damage and even death.  DEET sprays and wearing light-coloredclothing help deter these flies. Long sleeves may not discourage this fly ifthe clothing is not of at least a medium weight fabric since these flies canbite through thin clothing.


·     FishyEats (formal name Ciguatera) display symptoms including nausea, vomiting, anddiarrhea within a couple hours of eating fish. More serious symptoms are neurological issues including tooth pain andblurred vision. This disease is caused by eating fish who have been eatingtoxic microorganisms that live around coral reefs. 


The highest risk areas for this illness arethe Caribbean Sea and the Pacific and Indian Oceans. There is no telltale smellor visual cue to help avoid the risk.  Ifyou decide to eat seafood, avoid the worst culprits (barracuda and moray eel),as well as fish organs, where toxic levels can be magnified.

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