Many people enjoy traveling for leisure. Traveling outside of the USA allows you to experience new cultures, sights, tastes, and places. However, it is possible to experience a medical emergency while abroad. These are three of the most common emergencies you might encounter.
Montezuma's Revenge is a widely known medical problem for international travelers. Abdominal pain is commonly caused by bacterial or viral contamination of food, water, and other beverages. Abdominal pain could also be caused by a parasitic infection picked up while traveling. It is a good idea to pack both laxatives and antidiarrheal medications when traveling abroad. If you experience bloody or tarry stools or vomit, seek prompt medical assistance.
You may want to rent a car if you are traveling between cities or spending more than a few days in a city that lacks sufficient public transportation. When you drive in a different country, you might not be familiar with the rules of the road or the customs of the area. You could also be tired or jet-lagged. Injuries resulting from a car accident include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, fractures, and more. Seek immediate evaluation at a hospital emergency room if you are in a car accident while traveling.
Depending on where you are traveling, you may be at risk of exposure to a wide variety of infectious diseases. Diseases that are rarely seen in the United States may be common in other parts of the world. Some examples include malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and novel types of influenza, which are typically spread by insects or exposure to birds or pigs. Measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, and seasonal influenza are spread through respiratory contact with other people. It only takes one person coughing in a crowded market or bus to infect dozens of others with an infectious disease. Tuberculosis is another respiratory disease that is common in other countries. You may wish to visit a physician offering international health and travel health services in order to get preventive medications in advance.
It is important to be prepared when traveling abroad. Always check the United States Department of State and the World Health Organization for travel alerts and health advisories. Get any necessary vaccinations well in advance. Use sensible precautions, including drinking only bottled water and wearing sturdy shoes, at all times.
It also never hurts to have travel insurance in case something goes wrong while you’re on vacation! Check out some of our frequently asked questions and see how Triptime Insurance can help you on your next holiday.