Vaccines, mosquitoes, insurance… before going on vacation in the tropics, it is advisable to take some precautions. Update on what you need to know to have a happy vacation.
Holidays in the tropics! On the program, sun, sea, and fine sandy beach. Cradled by the only sound of the waves, warmed by the sun which darts its rays, you are ready to let yourself go to idleness. But beware ! Exposure to the sun requires protection at the height. Just like fighting mosquitoes, never far away and always too close. The advice to follow so that your vacation turns into beautiful memories.
Before leaving for the tropics
- Ask your doctor about the country-specific health risks, and the area you are going to. You can also consult the Institut Pasteur card, with the various vaccinations (yellow fever, hepatitis, etc.) recommended country by country.
- If preventive treatment against malaria is recommended, you may have to start it two days before departure to check its tolerance. Above all, do not stop it during your stay and continue it after your return, for 1 to 4 weeks.
- Check when your last reminders were DTP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, polio). They must be renewed in adults at 25, 45 and 65, and finally every 10 years after 65 years. If they have not been performed, one or two injections can be scheduled a month before departure.
- Check that your international bank card or your home insurance includes insurance (assistance, repatriation, medical expenses), the conditions of which are adapted to your trip.
- Make up a aid kit, comprising small equipment (cut-out dressings, scissors, sterile compresses), an antiseptic, paracetamol, an antispasmodic, a cream to soothe sunburns, an osmotic antidiarrhoeal and a drug against nausea, vomiting, and turista , the “traveler’s diarrhea“.
- If you are traveling with children or that particular weaknesses require you to take other medicines, consult your doctor who will help you personalize your kit. To prevent any risk of dehydration in case of diarrhea, take children’s oral rehydration fluids (ORS).
On site: what preventive measures?
Foreign Travel Promotes Growth Of “Super Bacteria,” Study Warns
You are ready to travel this summer, preferably in a country located in a tropical zone? This good news should not, however, make us forget the risk of bringing antibiotic-resistant bacteria back into the intestine. This is the warning of researchers whose study published in the journal Genome Medicine examines the effects of international travel on bacteria in our stomachs. They studied the presence of antimicrobial-resistant genes in the gut microbiota by analyzing stool samples from 190 Dutch travelers before and after their trip. Among the countries visited: those of North Africa, East Africa, South Asia, and South-East Asia.
The scientific team observed an increase in the quantity and diversity of antimicrobial resistance genes in the fecal samples of these travelers returning from abroad, including genes at high risk because they are resistant to common antibiotics and of last resort (when other antibiotics do not work). According to her, “six of the ten high-risk genes identified were present after the trip but not before, indicating that they were acquired during the trip. The authors notably cite the MCR-1 gene, resistant to an antibiotic called colistin, a treatment of last resort for infections such as pneumonia and meningitis.
To warn the turista:
- wash your hands before each meal and after using the toilet;
- drink only mineral water encapsulated or purified with disinfectant tablets;
- avoid raw foods, undercooked or cooked but eaten cold;
- no ice cubes in your drinks, no sorbets, no ice cream.
To protect yourself from mosquitoes:
It is essential to limit the risk of bites by these insects, vectors of diseases such as malaria, dengue, or Zika:
- wear covering clothing;
- apply suitable repellents. The most effective are based on DEET but they are not suitable for pregnant women and children under 2 years old. In this case, opt for formulas based on IR3535 or icaridin;
- to sleep, use an insecticide-treated mosquito net.
The tiger mosquito, which transmits dengue, Zika or chikungunya, are diurnal: if you go to an affected area, protect yourself during the day.
And also :
- Do not lie directly on the sand and do not swim in stagnant water, in order to limit the risk of contracting certain diseases.
- Carry the name and contact details of your support company with you. Do not take the initiative or incur any expense without first calling her.
Take the plane with your medication
You must have with you a valid prescription, in French and in your name, detailing the medications and any necessary equipment (injector pen, needle, syringe, etc.).
For security purposes, keep in your carry-on baggage the equivalent of one week of processing, knowing that the liquid forms are limited to 100 ml and that some companies require that the bottle be placed in a transparent bag.
If it is about narcotic or psychotropic drugs, a medical certificate may be requested from you by the customs of the host country. Check with their embassy before leaving.