When you are on the road, you are at a much higher risk of getting sick than when you are at home, living your normal life. This is because as you travel through different countries and cities in the world, your body absorbs different types of bacteria which your immune system is not accustomed to dealing with. We all know the dangers of traveling through infection-hit countries and rainforests and of course, we have vaccines for such diseases. Vaccines however only prevent a handful of diseases and they cannot prevent you from getting sick on the road either as a result of food poisoning, strep or any other type of bacterial infection. If the worst does happen, as it did with me last year in Africa, here is what you need to do.
Don’t Ignore It
Illnesses and infection can worsen very quickly if you don’t do something about it and so you should react as soon as you feel unwell. Even if you have been unwell for just a day, it could be the beginning of something far worse so you need to react quickly. Food poising can come and go for example, but it can also quickly turn into something worse such as salmonella so you need to take evasive action the second that you feel unwell, hopefully it will be nothing but acting quickly could prevent something worse.
Stop if You Can
If you have any plans to travel then you need to try and put them on hold whilst you rest and recuperate. Naturally there will be some instances where you can’t do this, if you are going to lose a lot of money through cancellation for example. There is nothing worse than traveling whilst you are sick, you will feel terrible, you may make your illness worse an you could infect other travelers. If you have the option then stay where you are, getting comfy and see it through.
If the problem persists for more than a few days you should seek medical help, you may not have a great deal of confidence in the local medical professionals but it is important that you at least seek a consultancy. Check on a search engine to find the best healthcare professional near you and pay whatever you need to in order to get better. Many people worry about paying the fees but it is unfortunately, a necessary evil, untreated illnesses could get much worse and result in you canceling the trip entirely. If you are a US citizen then you can also contact the embassy to find a range of certified healthcare providers.
Take The Advice
Whichever treatment or advice which you are given should be respected and you need to do all that you can to get better and get traveling again. If you are given meds for a duration of 7 days, take them for 7 days and don’t stop after 4 days just because you are feeling better. If you want to get back on the road again with a clean bill of health, then take the advice seriously.