Many of us spend most of the year looking forward to a trip away, whether it’s picking your destination or finally setting off. The unfortunate side of any holiday is catching one of the many illnesses that frequent several of the most popular destinations.
Medical travel insurance provider GetGoing has studied the different ailments that can affect tourists and the countries that pose the biggest threat to holidaymakers. Their study focuses on 12 of the most dangerous nations and what to look out for, as well as some handy tips on staying safe throughout your stay.
From typhoid fever to travellers diarrhoea, there are many bugs that travellers can contract but which countries are most likely to leave a physical and financial dent in your holiday?
The Riskiest Nations Across the Globe
- India – Being the second most populous country in the world, India is notorious for the infamous ‘Delhi Belly’, known more formally as travellers diarrhoea. Other diseases to be wary of include the likes of typhoid, hepatitis A, due to poor sanitation.
- Kenya – This East African nation has been a hotspot for tourism for decades but is listed on the danger list for as many as 5 travel-related illnesses. Kenya is among the riskiest nations to travel to with malaria, dengue, typhoid, hepatitis A and traveller’s diarrhoea all present.
- Thailand – An unmissable destination for the travelling community, Thailand is famed for its beaches and culture. The average value of an insurance claim in this part of Southeast Asia is £734, with Travellers Diarrhoea the most common ailment for its visitors.
- Peru – As well as homing Machu Picchu and the Andes, Peru is the riskiest of all of South America and is a hotbed for diseases such as Dengue and Typhoid. Compared to many others, it has a low number of annual visits but is one to watch!
- Indonesia – The average cost of a claim in Indonesia was the lowest in our study at £221, but travellers should be aware that the region poses a threat in terms of illnesses such as Hepatitis A.
How Are Bugs Transmitted?
- Contaminated Food – While no one wants to be discouraged from sampling new cuisines, food is one of the main sources of illnesses such as travellers diarrhoea which affects 20-40% of travellers. Whether it’s unclean, undercooked or unwashed, be wary of what your eating when abroad.
- Poor Sanitation – Locations where there is a lack of clean water, open sewers and toilets are hotbeds for bacteria and parasites to thrive. Steer clear of tap water and ice in your drinks to avoid disease in the risky nations.
- Insect Bites – The WHO estimates that the mosquito is the deadliest animal alive, resulting in over 1 million deaths every year. Travellers can equip themselves with maps showing danger zones for Malaria and Dengue to stay safe.
Top Tips on Staying Healthy and Safe
- Prior to travel, be sure to visit your doctor to ensure you’re up to date with vaccinations and also find out if you need any others or medication before going to a specific country.
- Take stock of include DEET repellents which can be sprayed in your room or applied to the skin before going outdoors.
- Carry travel sickness or altitude sickness relief tablets if you have been prescribed to use these by your doctor or you have experienced these illnesses in the past.
- Be sure to source sealed water sources, and steer clear of ice to avoid water-borne illnesses on your travels!