A new survey conducted by Sanofi spoke to 2000 people and found that in the last 30 years, the number of Brits flying beyond Europe has more than tripled. A reason for this is down to the increase of people wanting to look for an unconventional holiday experience. With this increase however, only half of those surveyed were aware of the increased risk of travel-related diseases. Experienced adventurer and award-winning broadcaster, Ben Fogle and TV doctor, Christian Jessen have teamed up with Sanofi Pasteur to discuss the risk of travel-related illnesses and encourage everyone to seek travel health advice before their trip.
Television doctor, Christian Jessen said: “From my experience, people consider travel health when it’s too late – either they don’t leave enough time before their trip to take the recommended precautions, or they only think about it having returned with a travel-related illness.
“We should always do what we can to help prevent illness, so make sure you take the time to talk through any potential health risks your holiday and any activities may pose with a healthcare professional before you travel.
“Their advice will help you protect yourself as best you can against illness when you travel; and by reducing your chances of getting sick you will be more likely to enjoy your trip to the fullest.”
Of those surveyed, over half stated they didn’t know they needed to get any travel vaccinations.
A quarter of them didn’t leave enough time to seek travel health advice before their trip and approximately one in five revealed they didn’t know how to go about getting travel vaccinations.
Award-winning broadcaster Ben Fogle said: “People know I like going on extreme trips and undertaking challenges like climbing Everest, but I also love going on holidays with my family.
“When we go on a family trip, of course we want to relax but we also want to explore the local surroundings.
“We like tasting local food, taking trips into nature and seeing the local wildlife, so it’s important we take our travel health seriously.
“Having contracted leishmaniasis – a disease caused by parasites and spread by sandflies – while abroad, I now always make sure I speak to a healthcare professional before I travel about the risks to which I might be exposed.”
It is estimated that a person should allocate around £75 for travel health precautions including travel health.
Travel insurance, sun cream, insect repellent and vaccinations should also be remembered.
If possible, booking a travel health risk assessment at a GP surgery or private travel clinic at least six to eight weeks before you are due to travel
Some travel vaccinations are available free of charge on the NHS and you should speak to your GP about this.
The NHS said: “If possible, booking a travel health risk assessment at a GP surgery or private travel clinic at least six to eight weeks before you are due to travel.”
A European Health Insurance card (EHIC) entitles you to reduced cost for medical treatment if something does happen whilst away.
If travelling further abroad, you should try and make make sure you get all your vaccinations, wash hands often to prevent germs spreading, eat healthy and stay active.
You should pack all relevant medications and get a doctors letter beforehand of any medical conditions.
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