Welcome to our fifth 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 focused on a disease that’s been coming up in the news recently due to outbreaks in Pakistan, the Bahamas and now, Kenya: dengue fever. In the article, we discuss prevention as well as treatment and prognosis. Look out for an upcoming post on treating sunburn and a few new travel health guides for specific countries.
Blog Posts of the Week
Poi from No Place to Be offers a hilarious tale of a hospital visit in Bangkok. As you can see from the revealing title, this is not the second time he has had such an encounter. This post is seriously funny, but it’s also a good indication of what you might expect if you are visiting a hospital in Bangkok.
This short and sweet post from Raymond at Man on the Lam is also good for a laugh. Ok, so it’s not sweet, and it might make your stomach churn, but it’s a truly hilarious account of a bus ride in Vietnam – one that I’m glad I was not on!
While we’re on the topic of vomit, Lifehacker recently posted a brief and invaluable guide for restoring your life force after throwing up. Big thanks to Katrina from TourAbsurd for passing this along.
Bessie and Kyle from On Our Own Path have been churning out insightful and entertaining posts from their time in Myanmar (Burma). In this post, they offer a warning: watch out for betel nut juice. Betel nuts are a kind of stimulant, suppressing appetite and offering energy, and their juice is spat anywhere and everywhere.
Many of our 32 travel health tips from travel bloggers involved getting adequate rest on the road. As Ayngelina from Bacon is Magic points out, the need for rest occasionally means sleeping in airports. Click through for some entertaining photos and some valuable information for resting your eyes in airports.
Michael, from Art of Backpacking, offers some great insight for what it’s like to visit different hospitals around the world. He also describes a scary account of hypoglycemia, providing yet another reminder of the importance of eating well and staying hydrated.
Travel Health in the News
Dengue fever outbreaks have been occurring around the world over the past month. We have been following stories in Pakistan and the Bahamas in our previous round-ups. Now, in northeastern Kenya, more than 5,000 cases of dengue have been reported in the Mandera district. Clinics and health workers are doing what they can to provide supportive treatment. Story here.
Dengue fever continues at epidemic levels in the Punjab province of Pakistan. In Lahore, 300 new cases are being reported daily. The government has been taking increasingly drastic measures to control the outbreak, including closing all educational institutions for 10 days.
There’s been a pleasantly surprising amount of good news about malaria in the past several weeks. First, Roll Back Malaria reported record success in the reduction of global malaria deaths. Now, there have been several recent stories about promising vaccine trials, including this one containing new research findings from the New England Journal of Medicine. Researches are finding new and innovative ways to go after the malaria protozoa once it is in the blood stream, and they are getting cautiously closer to producing a vaccine that offers an acceptable level of immunity.