There is a constant stream of Kiwis vacationing in South East Asia. Many manage to get through it safely with no health issues. Good vacation planning facilitates this! Start planning at least three months out. The key is to be prepared.
- Check cdc.gov and go to “Travelers’ Health” for up-to-date reports on most parts of the world. This will include travel health alerts and immunisation recommendations.
- You will need to be up to date with the ‘routine’ vaccinations, especially tetanus. In addition, as a minimum you will likely need typhoid and hepatitis immunisations. If you are going off the beaten track, you may need a rabies vaccination.
- Malaria prevention may be required by way of a good insect repellent and a prophylactic medication like doxycycline.
- Take your own simple first aid and medical kit. Consider taking paracetamol, an anti-nausea/anti vomiting medication and an antihistamine at the very least.
- Get a reputable travel and medical insurance policy. Read the fine print to see what it does and does not cover. You may have to pay extra for pre-existing conditions.
- Take a change of clothing and at least a week’s supply of any regular medications in your carry-on luggage. Luggage frequently gets lost.
- Take healthy snacks for on board – ask your dietitian for tips. Fruit, vegetables and nuts are great.
- Get well rested before going onto the plane – you will recover from the jet stress quicker.
Dr Simon Mayhew