Infectious diseases remain a major cause of illness, disability, and death. Vaccination is a highly effective way of preventing certain infectious diseases since it induces protective immunity against such infectious agents. A traveler’s risk for acquiring infectious diseases is determined by various factors, including immunization status, location of travel, season, duration of exposure, occupational and recreational activities while traveling, as well as local rate of virus transmission at the time of travel. However, hand washing the oldest and still the most effective way of preventing diseases must be practiced by all travelers irrespective of which country you are traveling to. Some of these diseases include food and water borne, vector borne, blood borne, zoonosis, air borne, disease transmitted from soil and sexually transmitted diseases. Food and water borne diseases such as hepatitis A (fecal-oral route), typhoid fever and cholera, and diarrhea transmitted by ...view middle of the document...
Vector-borne diseases on the other hand, account for 17% of the estimated global burden of all infectious diseases and the most deadly vector-borne disease is malaria (WHO, 2014). Malaria has caused an estimated 627 000 deaths in 2012.However, the world's fastest growing vector-borne disease is dengue, with a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the last 50 years (WHO, 2014). Other vector-borne diseases are schistosomiasis, human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and onchocerciasis (WHO, 2014). Many of these diseases are preventable through informed protective measures like using mosquito repellents, insecticide spray bed nets and minimize travel during summer time.
Similarly, casual sexual relationships occur frequently during travel to foreign countries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 5%–50% of travelers reported casual sex with a new partner while abroad. Also, commercial sex looks lucrative in some various destinations and the sex workers may have high rates of STDs, including HIV, so travelers who have sex with them risk acquiring these infections. Here, one can also acquire the fecal-oral route disease if activities allow direct mouth-to-anus contact or indirect contact (touching the mouth to something that touched the anus). Travelers must adopt safe sexual practices by consistently using condoms or to be on the safer side, abstinence.
Finally, avoid and keep a distance from direct contact with infected person’s blood or body fluid, sneezing and coughing respectively to avoid blood and air borne diseases.
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