[헬스S] Overseas travel on the rise… How to avoid getting a local infection?

With the recent increase in overseas travel, travelers should be careful not to contract infectious diseases locally. /Photo = Image Today

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Overseas travelers are increasing in the endemic (endemic) phase of the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19). According to the Korea Tourism Organization, the number of outbound travelers in the third quarter was 1,996,000, more than doubling from the previous quarter (944,000).

As the number of overseas travelers has increased, the possibility of contracting infectious diseases such as dengue fever or monkeypox (Mpox), which is currently in vogue, is high, so special attention is needed.

Information on infectious diseases and vaccinations by country can be found in the ‘Overseas Infectious Disease NOW’ operated by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infectious disease prevention information and vaccination certification institutions can be found here. Overseas Infectious Diseases NOW shows the trend of overseas infectious diseases every week.

Immunocompromised people, pregnant women, children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to infection, so care is needed.

Immunocompromised patients include those undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplantation, long-term steroid use, splenectomy, and HIV infection. They must consult with a specialist before vaccination before deciding on vaccination.

It is safe for pregnant women to travel during the second trimester (weeks 13-28) of pregnancy. Pregnant women should be aware of diarrhea, which is called water change, but if you take this symptom, the risk of dehydration is high and it is not good for the fetus. Therefore, you need to be very careful about your food intake. During pregnancy, it is recommended not to travel to areas with high risk of malaria, and if you must visit, you should take antimalarial medication.

Vaccination is essential for children and the elderly. It is recommended that the elderly receive additional vaccinations, such as influenza and pneumococcal vaccines, as well as essential vaccinations. You should also take care of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

While traveling, it is recommended to wear long, brightly colored clothing and use mosquito repellent to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes or insects. In particular, there is no vaccine for dengue fever, so it is important to avoid mosquito bites in areas where dengue fever is endemic. Avoid contact with animals, such as not touching dogs, birds, or wild animals.

Symptoms of an infectious disease appear within 3 weeks of returning home. If symptoms such as fever, rash, diarrhea, or vomiting occur after returning home, you must first report to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1339) and then visit a hospital according to the instructions to receive a diagnosis and treatment from a specialist.

Bae Ji-yeon, an infectious medicine specialist at Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, said, “The best way to prevent infection while traveling abroad is to wash your hands.

The pear specialist said, “It is good to eat all food completely cooked, and you should drink boiled water, bottled water, or carbonated water.”

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