If you are planning to travel to a developing country, it is essential that you see a travel doctor before you fly. There are many health hazards which you may face in a developing country which you would not face in Australia. Below is a guide to 2 illnesses you may develop while in a developing country and how a travel doctor can help to prevent you from becoming ill.
Malaria is a condition which is spread by mosquitoes. When you are bitten by a mosquito which is carrying the disease, your blood becomes infected. This results in a fever and, in some cases, the development of anaemia. In advanced cases, malaria can cause life-threatening kidney damage. Natives who have spent their entire lives living in a country which is affected by malaria are likely to have immunity to the disease. However, as a non-native, you will be at risk. You can help to minimise the risk of malaria by wearing insect repellent and covering exposed skin from dusk until dawn, as this is the time when mosquitoes are most active. Your travel doctor will also be able to prescribe anti-malaria medication which will help your body to fight off the disease if you are infected with it. It is important to note that some anti-malaria medication needs to be taken for a period of weeks before you travel, so you should visit a travel doctor in good time before you depart.
While polio has been eradicated in Australia, it is still prevalent in developing countries. Polio is caused by the polio virus. The faecal matter of infected people most commonly spreads the disease. In developing countries which do not have a public sewerage system or which don't have high food safety standards, your chances of coming into contact with faecal matter are greatly increased. Symptoms of polio include a headache, fever, muscle pain and weakness in the legs. However, in many cases, there are no or very few symptoms of infection. In extreme cases, polio can result in the paralysis of your limbs. The best way to protect yourself against polio is to make sure you have been vaccinated against the virus. A travel doctor will be able to assess when you were last vaccinated against polio and will provide you with a booster immunisation if needed.
To find out more, you should contact a travel doctor today.