Indifference to Injections Accounts for Pain to Travellers’ Hip Pockets

Are you planning a trip but not sure if you want to fork out for all those needles? It can be a tough choice, especially if you’re usually perfectly healthy. Getting vaccinations before going overseas can feel like a pricey and pointless expense. However, it could save you a lot of hassle down the track. By avoiding injections not only do you risk contracting deadly diseases, but also voiding your travel insurance policy. Travel insures may not cover medical costs if the reason you’re sick is because you haven’t had the recommended vaccinations.

Increasing access to developing countries brings the potential contraction of some diseases either eradicated or highly uncommon at home. Food and water borne diseases are very common in many countries, and diseases such as cholera, malaria and yellow fever are prominent in areas lacking in sanitation.

The vaccinations required for your trip will vary according to your destinations. You can find full lists of recommended vaccinations on smartraveller.gov.au and should always see your GP before travelling. It’s also a great idea to register your trip with Smartraveller, an Australian Government website which will contact you in case of emergencies and keep you up to date on all the latest tips and health and safety warnings.

Woman at Airport

Image: Pixabay.com

Beyond getting those pesky injections, there are a few ways you can minimise your risk of contracting diseases.

  • Firstly, to avoid disease carried by mosquitoes such as malaria, dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis, try to avoid activities during dawn and dusk, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs but is loose fitting, wear insect repellent and always sleep in screened accommodation under a mosquito net.
  • Secondly, avoid feeding and petting dogs, monkeys, bats and other animals when travelling abroad. Rabies is a disease spread through the saliva of already-infected animals.
  • Thirdly, be conscious of the food and water that you consume. Drink bottled or treated water in certain countries as local tap water may not be safe to drink. If that’s the case where you’re going, be careful of consuming ice or salads which can often contain untreated water. Other foods included unpasteurised dairy products, raw or reheated meat and seafood should also be avoided.
  • Lastly, it may seem obvious but good hygiene practices are essential when travelling overseas (as well as at home). Washing your hands is the single most important thing you can do to stop the spread of diseases, according to The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Because you’re exposed to so many different germs as you pass through airports, stations, hotels, taxis (you name it!) when travelling, you should be washing your hands thoroughly and often.

Of course, these measures cannot prevent everyone from falling ill when travelling. It’s important to find an insurance policy that’s right for you and will cover you in case of such emergencies – and get the right injections!

Words by Isabelle Laker