General travel health
General travel health guidance for staff
10 tips for healthy travel by NHS Fit for Travel;
- Seek consultation with a travel medicine specialist at least six weeks before travel.
- Ask about special vaccines that are recommended for specific destinations.
- First aid and medical kit containing regular and special medication for the trip - carry in hand luggage.
- Evacuation and travel insurance to cover health emergencies while abroad.
- Take precautions against malaria when you visit areas at risk. Prevent mosquito bites and take malaria pills as advised.
- Road safety is important - wear safety belts in cars, helmets on bikes and avoid night time driving.
- Abstain from casual sex or practice safe sex with condoms to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Verify and consume safe water and food. Have a supply of medicine for self treatment of diarrhoea.
- Excessive sun exposure should be minimized by the use of sunscreen. Sun can be more intense over water, snow and at altitude.
- Leave animals alone. Animal bites or scratches can transmit rabies. Seek help if bitten.
Food and water considerations
Other countries do not necessarily have the same quality of water and/or food, even in tourist areas and hotels, which could result in what is commonly referred to as 'travellers' diarrhoea'. Some sensible precautions are available on the NHS Fit for Travel website, and these include;
- Personal hygiene when eating and drinking is very important. Where possible, wash hands prior to handling food, eating and always after using the toilet. Handwashing facilities may be poor or not available when travelling, therefore it is advisable to carry sanitising gel or hand wipes at all times.
- Water should only be drunk when you are sure of its purity.
- Do not drink unsafe water without boiling, chemical purification or using a reliable filter.
- Bottled water is usually safe, as are hot tea and coffee, beer and wine.
Air travel brings it's own set of health issues, including dehydration whilst flying, jet lag once at your destination as well as certain medical conditions making it unsafe to fly. The NHS Fit for Travel website gives advice on the following topics;
- Airline Restrictions on Flying
- Communicable Diseases
- Fear of Flying
- Security in Aircraft
- In-Flight Problems including dehydration and DVT
- Air Rage
- Jet Lag
- Altitude Sickness After Landing at High Altitudes
The NHS Fit for Travel website also has a section dedicated to Business travellers. In addition to the guidance above, this also includes;
- Culture Shock
Travel First Aid
First aid advice when travelling.
Travel Health Insurance
You are strongly advised that you have comprehensive travel health insurance in place before you travel as most countries do not have any reciprocal health agreement with the UK.
Guidance for taking prescribed medicines or drugs abroad.