How to Stay Healthy While Traveling – All About Malaria

Before I got married and had kids I did a lot of traveling. The one thing I know, there is always a chance your health can get compromised while abroad. That’s why as soon as I had a family I got concerned about preventing the diseases that they could catch during one of our adventures. Yes, I always make sure to have travel insurance but I really don’t want to have the need to use it.

Family Travel

This to me meant a lot of research and learning about how to prevent sickness. That’s how I found out about Travel Medicine. What an incredibly useful, well researched and resourceful site. On the site I was able to find information by Dr. Rose, the director of the International Travel Clinic at Noble Hospital, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Tufts New England Medical Center, the author of The International Travel Health Guide, and the CEO of Travel Medicine. It is a great tool that helped me understand how to prevent and manage some of the most common diseases.

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What I learned

One of my main concerns was learning all I possibly could about the diseases that my boys would be exposed to and what I could do to prevent them. The most common diseases out there that could affect them include:

– Cholera
– Hepatitis A
– Japanese Encephalitis
– Meningitis
– Rabies
– Typhoid
– Yellow Fever
– Tuberculosis
– Diarrhea
– Malaria

Now, there are vaccines for most of these, so it is just a matter of speaking to our family doctor and getting them. But because we are always traveling through tropical areas in Central America, most diseases don’t have vaccines. For example, malaria which really worried me. I know there are some medicines out there that can prevent it but none are 100% effective to all of the different kinds of malaria.

Things you Should Know About Malaria

Prevention

The first thing you should know is that the best way to prevent it is to keep mosquitoes away from your family. This can be achieved by using a good bug repellent. The stronger the better, without over doing DEET a 20% spray will be enough.

If the weather permits, it is also a good idea to dress in light, comfortable yet long sleeved clothing items. This will at least protect you from smaller mosquitoes that can’t bite through the clothes.

Common symptoms

– Fever
– Chills
– Headache
– Sweats
– Fatigue
– Nausea and vomiting

As you can see malaria might look like the flu at the beginning so keep your eyes open, it usually starts with fever.

Also keep in mind that whoever gets infected won’t start showing symptoms right away, it usually takes between five and seven days to manifest itself.

Don’t discard it just because you are already back home.

Treatment for Malaria

It can be detected through blood exams. As a parent you should always ask for it when you see the symptoms because some doctors or lab workers might ignore it or confuse it with something else. So it is better to prevent.

Once they are sure it is malaria and they know the kind it is they will start administering the medicines. However there are standby emergency medications available that you can take or provide to your kids while the formal treatment starts. For this kind of preventive medicine you should approach your doctor, even before you leave home and ask about it.

For more detailed information visit their website. I bet you will also be able to learn tons about staying healthy while traveling.

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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