What You Should Do If You Feel Sick After Vacation

A great holiday can leave you with lasting memories and souvenirs, not to mention fatigue or jetlag. But what if you’re feeling a little more than just tiredness and a dread of going back to work?

Most post-vacation sicknesses are mild, such as a head cold or upset stomach. But up to eight percent of travelers are sick enough to seek doctor’s care. Following an overseas trip, there are some symptoms the Centers for Disease Control says warrant a trip to your doctor advises the healthytravelblog.com

If you have a fever, chances are good that it is caused by a less serious illness. But if you have a fever within a month after you leave a country with malaria, you should see your doctor immediately. Even if you took antimalarial medicine, your fever could still be a symptom because the medicine isn’t 100 percent effective.

Malaria typically develops within 30 days, but the CDC says there are rare cases that lie dormant for a year or longer. Because of this, you should tell your doctor about any traveling you have done no matter how long ago it was.

Diarrhea usually clears up within a few days. Traveler’s diarrhea is the most common illness when traveling. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection from exposure to E. coli, Campylobacter, Shigella, or Salmonella in undercooked or raw foods, contaminated food, or contaminated water – including ice cubes!

If you are experiencing diarrhea, treat it by drinking fluids to prevent dehydration; begin a diet with simple, bland foods; and, if possible, drink a solution made with oral rehydration salts.

Most cases of traveler’s diarrhea get better within one to three days without medical treatment. But if it persists for two weeks or more, contact your doctor. Prolonged bouts of diarrhea can cause you to lose nutrients. An illness of this length is typically caused by a parasitic infection that needs to be treated with medication.

Skin Problems
Skin problems such as rashes, bug bites, fungal infections or boils, are the most common illnesses following international travel. In most cases, skin problems aren’t serious. But they could be signs of a more serious illness, especially if you also have a fever.

If you do make a visit to your doctor following a vacation, you should tell him or her about your travel. Most post-travel illnesses appear soon after a trip, but incubation periods vary, resulting in some symptoms not appearing for months to years following the initial infection. The CDC suggests providing your doctor with the following information about your trip:

What you did on your vacation
How long you were away
The accommodations you stayed in
What you ate and drank on your trip
If you were bitten by bugs
If you swam in fresh water
Any other possible sources of exposure, including tattoos and piercings

Japan confirms Dengue Fever Outbreak

Tropical diseases are not only found in poor countries.
Health officials in Tokyo have confirmed 19 new cases of dengue fever, bringing the total to 34 in the country’s first domestic outbreak since World War Two. The disease was found in individuals living in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures. None of the victims has been abroad recently, but all had visited Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park.

Officials said the disease was probably carried by mosquitoes found in and around the park, one of central Tokyo’s major green spaces. The disease is transmitted via Tiger mosquitoes which are endemic to Japan, though dengue fever was effectively eradicated from the country after the Second World War.

Dengue symptoms include high fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding. Most cases are mild, particularly in people who have never had the infection before. Occasionally, serious problems can develop, leading to complications such as dengue haemorrhagic fever, and dengue shock syndrome.

“It is rare for symptoms to worsen among those who have been infected,” a Japanese health ministry official said. “We hope people will seek treatment at a medical facility as soon as possible after developing a high fever within three to seven days after being bitten by a mosquito.”

The Japanese authorities have sprayed 800 litres of pesticide in the park to kill the mosquitoes and halt the spread of the infection. With the proper treatment dengue fever is fatal in only 1 percent of cases.

This outbreak, in one of the world’s richest countries, highlights the fact that neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are not the sole preserve of poor countries, reports the Guardian. Governments need to realise that G20 countries are susceptible to the “lion’s share” of dangerous, yet low-profile illnesses, a US expert has warned.

Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine in Baylor, Texas told the Guardian, northern Argentina, southern Mexico and the southern United States are areas where several NTDs are common. Texas and regions of the Gulf Coast have seen cases of dengue fever, Chagas disease, Chikungunya, and parasitic worm infections. He estimates that 12 million Americans have one or more tropical diseases.

He described his frustration with governments spending millions on HIV, TB, and malaria research while often neglecting NTDs. The UK and USA governments currently provide three-quarters of the development and research budget for NTDs.

“We’re working on the French and the Germans, who, I think are going to be very important. But we need to look even beyond the north and get all of the G20 countries involved – especially the Brics [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa].”

SOURCE : expat health.org

British military sent to tackle Ebola

British military engineers and medics are being sent to Sierra Leone to help fight the world’s largest-ever outbreak of Ebola reports the BBC World News.

They will set up and run a treatment centre near the capital Freetown.

The World Health Organization says more than 2,000 people have now died in the outbreak in West Africa.

Last week, the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres called for a global military intervention in the region.

It said the global response to the outbreak had been “lethally inadequate” with countries turning their back on West Africa and merely reducing the risk of Ebola arriving on their shores.

The UK has announced it will build a centre with 50 beds for people in Sierra Leone and 12 beds for healthcare workers who become ill.

The proposed site will be surveyed this week, with the healthcare worker section of the facility scheduled to be running within eight weeks.

Yesterday, President Obama said the US military would set up isolation units and provide security for public health workers.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “The scale of the problem requires the entire international community to do more to assist the affected countries which is why the UK is working with the government of Sierra Leone to build a new medical treatment facility near their capital Freetown.

“When it is up and running it will enable the UK to provide medical care for local and international health workers, as well as treatment for the wider population.”

The UK government has committed £25m to tackling the outbreak, including running trials for an Ebola vaccine.

The charity Save the Children will eventually take over management of the treatment centre.

Its chief executive, Justin Forsyth, said: “Ebola threatens thousands of people’s lives across West Africa and could set back development many decades.

“The key to combating this epidemic is backing front line health workers and underpinning a fractured health system in Sierra Leone.

“Without urgent action to assist medics, many more children and their families will suffer and die from this most appalling and tragic disease.”