Report lists the riskiest spots for common travel diseases

Vaccinations only go so far: exercise further caution in these destinations.

Risky spots for common diseases

Name one thing worse than getting sick on holiday. Well, sure, there are a few things, but nothing can ruin a trip quicker than having to take ten trips to the toilet an hour because you ate a dodgy dinner in Delhi.

While most travellers are cautious enough to take the correct vaccinations for the destinations they are visiting, they’ll still have to take extra precautions from sickness such as traveller’s diarrhoea and other common illnesses.

These travel illnesses are caused by contaminated food, water and ice, handling cash, poor sanitation, human contact, and insect bites.

According to data from British medical insurance provider GetGoing, the following countries are the riskiest spots for contracting these travel illnesses.

GetGoing says that 20 to 40 per cent of all travellers to India will experience traveller’s diarrhoea. And, because of substandard sanitation, visitors are also warned of typhoid and Hepatitis A.

Asthmatics and those who suffer from respiratory problems should also note that the air pollution in India is among the worst in the world.

Watch out for Hepatitis A and typhoid, the two most common illnesses in Indonesia.

Mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria and dengue fever are quite common in Kenya, so make sure you’ve had typhoid and Hepatitis A shots before going there.

Most common illnesses are malaria, dengue fever, typhoid and Hepatitis A.

Sri Lanka
Look out for dengue fever and Hepatitis A.

Also watch for dengue fever and Hepatitis A.

Dominican Republic
Illnesses such as typhoid, dengue fever, and Hepatitis A are common in the Dominican Republic.

South Africa
Guard against typhoid and Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is the main illness to watch for.

Be on alert for typhoid and Hepatitis A.

Yellow fever may not be on this list, but it is prevalent in parts of South America (especially Brazil and Colombia), as well as Nigeria, Ghana, and Trinidad and Tobago. If you’re travelling to these countries, ensure you get the vaccine before you go.

Malaria risks are high in the majority of Africa and Asia, as well as parts of the Middle East, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

When visiting any of these countries, make sure you:

  • stick to bottled water
  • avoid ice and undercooked meat
  • avoid uncooked vegetables and salads washed in local water
  • use a sunscreen and insect repellent
  • wash your hands before eating
  • make sure your vaccines are current
  • pack essential remedies such as Imodium and Travacalm


Have you ever contracted a serious illness while travelling? How did you manage it? What’s the one piece of advice you’d give our members about avoiding travel sickness?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    7th Nov 2018
    In Indonesia I was drinking the local beer from a glass in a native bar. Got the worst case of Bali belly, near turned me inside out. I now make sure I drink from unopened bottles and cans. Also carry hand sanitizer and use it regularly.
    Karl Marx
    7th Nov 2018
    Some things not mentioned is always carry toilet paper, hand sanitiser and activated charcoal pills. Toilet paper can also be used as tissue paper to wipe unclean areas. The dirtiest country I have been to would be India but also one of the memorable for its beauty & history.
    7th Nov 2018
    My husband came home green from a work trip to Indonesia - he'd bought a bottle of water which turned out to have been filled at a local tap.
    7th Nov 2018
    A lot of places in Asia where you buy bottled or canned drinks are kept cold in ice eskys, the ice of course is from infested tap water so always wipe the drinking area clean.

    8th Nov 2018
    All good points. One can't emphasise strongly enough that most diseases are carried by your hands into your body via mouth, eyes and nose. So, essential not only to wash hands in clean water before eating (sometimes even disinfectants may not be effective enough), but also avoid touching your face at all with dirty hands, and avoid dirty glasses, plates, spoons, etc.

    Another tip - if you go to these countries with sub-standard hygiene, chances are that you can afford to stay in their 5-star hotels and eat food there (excluding always the cold food and salads) which is more likely to be hygienically prepared and drink only good quality bottled water.

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