Welcome to our third travel health round-up (see previous round-ups here), in which we share travel health related blog posts and news items that we find interesting, occasionally disgusting, and often instructive. If you have any suggestions for the next one, get in touch.
This week we shared a post that takes a step by step look at what it’s like to file a claim with a travel insurance company. You can check out that post here. Look out for an article on Monday about malaria myths and facts. If you have a guest post idea relating to travel health, get in touch with us on the contact page. This could be anything from a story involving illness on the road to a piece of travel health advice.
Blogs we’ve been enjoying
While this story from Wes, who blogs at JohnnyVagabond.com, is not recent, it should be required travel reading. We can all relate to those moments on the road when our body is being, um, uncooperative, and Wes is one of our favorite writers. As entertaining as this tale is, tell me there aren’t also a few lessons in here as well.
Dave from The Longest Way Home, inspired by a recent brush with death himself, writes a sobering but very real, practical and honest post that explains how to prepare for an encounter with the unthinkable on the road.
Another not so recent post, but certainly worthy of your time. Samuel, who writes at Nomadic Samuel, chronicles some less than enviable moments on his travels. You’ll find some choice lines, like this one, following a bout of food poisoning in La Paz: “I was the literal equivalent of a human reincarnation of Iguazu falls for more than 72 hours.” But what we love most about this post is Samuel’s reflection in the second half of the post in which he offers some helpful advice on keeping things in perspective.
Reena from Wanderplex offers this straightforward and very readable piece of advice: take a multivitamin each day while you’re traveling. We mentioned this in our article, 6 Travel Health Tips, but frankly Reena does a better job articulating it, which is unsurprising given that her site is overflowing with practical travel tips.
This is huge news from Roll Back Malaria this week. In the past decade “global malaria deaths have dropped by an estimated 38%, with 43 countries (11 of them in Africa) cutting malaria cases or deaths by 50% or more, reversing the trend of the previous decade and saving over a million lives.” This has been one of the most successful global health initiatives in the recent years and while there is much work to be done, a small celebration is in order. “The Global Malaria Action Plan’s new targets now call for achieving near-zero deaths by 2015…” Progress!
New way of diagnosing sleeping sickness launched
Sleeping sickness, also known as trypanosomiasis, has long been one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose. That’s because the early stages of the disease produce flu-like symptoms and to get a proper diagnosis, spinal fluid must be drawn, a daunting procedure and one that must be done by carefully trained health care professionals. Using loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), a molecular technology, researchers in Bamako, Mali may have discovered a new way to test for this disease that doesn’t involve blood or spinal fluid samples. More tests are required, but the results are promising thus far.
We commented on the Dengue outbreak in Pakistan in our last round-up and the news has not gotten any better since. In the Punjab province, where there have been queues at hospitals to undergo screening, the number of dengue cases is still on the rise and many are calling for the government to take a more proactive approach.