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


Read more at www.smartertravel.com

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?

Related articles:
Which vaccinations do you need?
Seven secrets to avoiding sickness
World’s most polluted cities

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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