Travel Health Online UK

What are the best ways to stay healthy while travelling?

The best way to stay healthy on your trip is to plan before you go. If you are planning a trip to another country, visit a doctor several months before you leave, so you have time to get any vaccinations that you may need to get beforehand.

Jet lag, also known as rapid time zone change syndrome, transoceanic syndrome, jet lag, circadian dysrhythmia or time zone syndrome, is an imbalance produced between a person's internal clock (which marks the periods of sleep and wakefulness) and the new schedule that is established when travelling long distances, through various time regions or people living in countries that change the time in summer and winter.

The internal clock of the person tends to prevail, so, when travelling from east to west or vice versa, he will be sleepy in the middle of the day and at night he will maintain a state of wakefulness.

What are the symptoms of illnesses related to travel?

Fatigue, general tiredness which is the most common of the symptoms; the person is less confused if travelling west because a westward trip prolongs the experience of the body clock and distorts the day-night cycle less. However, if we travel east it means travelling counterclockwise corporal.

  • Digestive problems: vomiting.
  • Confusion in decision-making or speaking.
  • Lack of memory.
  • Irritability
  • Apathy

Malaria

Malaria is a disease that is caused by a parasite. The parasite is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. Those with malaria often feel very sick, with a high fever and chills. Each year, about 210 million people become infected with malaria, and approximately 440,000 die from the disease. Most of the people who die from the disease are young children from Africa.

Although the disease is rare in temperate climates, malaria is common in tropical and subtropical countries. World health officials are trying to reduce the incidence of malaria by distributing mosquito nets in order to protect people who suffer from mosquito bites while sleeping. Scientists from around the world are working to develop a vaccine to prevent malaria.

If you plan to travel to places where malaria is common, take steps to prevent mosquito bites, such as wearing protective clothing and insect repellants, and sleeping with treated mosquito nets. Depending on the area you visit and individual risk factors for infection, you may need to take preventive medications before, during, and after the trip. Many malaria parasites are now resistant to drugs that are commonly used to treat the disease.

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Anti-Malarial Anti-Malarial

What is Malaria and what are its types?

Malaria is a serious disease that can cause death in adults and children. It is caused by a parasite that lodges inside the blood cells (red blood cells) and destroys them.

There are some countries where the risk of infection is higher, such is the case of the tropics and subtropics. These areas are called endemic.

The disease can be caused by several types of parasites:

Plasmodium falciparum is the one that causes the most severe infections and has the greatest resistance to drugs, which aggravates the condition. The other three types tend to have milder and more controllable symptoms.

How is Malaria transmitted?

Transmission of the parasite takes place through a vector, mosquitoes. There are several species that can contain and transmit this microorganism to humans.

Although mosquitoes are the main source of infection, it has also been shown that:

A sick pregnant woman can pass the parasite to her baby. There is also the possibility of transmission through blood transfusions. Or by reusing injector needles, this usually occurs in people who use intravenous drugs and share needles.

What are the symptoms of Malaria?

This disease usually generates a series of quite noticeable symptoms or signs. So, if you have several of these, it is very likely that you have malaria:

  • Fever: it is usually high and lasts for a long time. In addition, the fever pattern is characteristic, it appears every 2 or 3 days.
  • Fatigue: You may feel tired despite not doing any physical activity.
  • Sudden dizziness and with the presence of occasional vomiting.
  • Chills, this occurs mostly before the fever appears.
  • Excessive perspiration or sweating that wets clothes and bed. It appears when the fever peak is going down.
  • Headache: People have headaches that are usually quite severe.
  • General pain in the muscles and joints.
  • Pain may appear in the chest area and in the abdomen.
  • Symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after being bitten by a mosquito that is infected with malaria.

How do you make the diagnosis?

The only way to make an effective diagnosis of this disease is through some blood tests. These allow health personnel to identify the parasite, its type and the general conditions of the affected person. Routine tests are:

  • Blood smear that is evaluated under a microscope to identify the parasite.
  • Rapid tests that measure whether the individual is in contact with the microorganism.
  • Complete haematology, kidney and liver test to identify the general health of the affected person.

How do you treat Malaria?

Treatment against the disease depends on several factors such as The age of the affected person. If the affected person is a woman and she is pregnant or breastfeeding. avoid harm to the fetus. The severity of the sick person's symptoms. The type of malaria the patient has.

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Jet lag Jet lag

What is Jet lag?

Jet lag, also called "jet lag disorder," is a temporary sleep problem that can affect anyone speeding through multiple time zones.

The body has its own internal clock or circadian rhythms, that tells it when to stay awake and when to sleep. Jet lag occurs because your body's clock is still in sync with your original time zone, rather than the time zone you travelled to. The more time zones you have crossed, the more likely you are to experience jet lag.

Jet lag can lead to daytime fatigue, malaise, trouble staying alert, and gastrointestinal problems. Jet lag is temporary, but it can significantly reduce the comfort of your vacation or business trip. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent or minimize jet lag.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of jet lag can vary. You may experience just one symptom or many. Some of the symptoms of jet lag are as follows:

  • Sleep disturbance, such as insomnia, early waking, or excessive sleepiness
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Difficulty concentrating or performing at the usual level
  • Stomach problems, constipation, or diarrhea
  • A general feeling of being unwell
  • Humour changes

Symptoms get worse the further you travel

Symptoms of jet lag generally occur within a day or two of your trip if you've crossed at least two time zones. Symptoms are likely to get worse or last longer the more time zones you have crossed, especially if you travel eastbound. It usually takes about a day to recover for each time zone crossed.

What are the causes?

Alteration of circadian rhythms

Jet lag can occur whenever you cross two or more time zones. It appears because, when crossing several time zones, the internal clock or the circadian rhythms that regulate the sleep-wake cycle become desynchronized with respect to the time of the new location.

For example, if you leave New York on a flight at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday and you arrive in Paris at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, your internal clock still thinks it's 1:00 a.m. m. That means you're ready to go to sleep while the Parisians are waking up.

And since it takes a few days for the body to adapt, the sleep-wake cycle, along with most other bodily functions, such as hunger and bowel habits, remains out of step with the rest of Paris.

Influence of sunlight

Sunlight is a key influence on your internal clock. That's because light makes it difficult to regulate melatonin, a hormone that helps synchronize cells throughout the body.

Certain cells in the tissue at the back of the eye (retina) transmit light signals to a region of the brain called the 'hypothalamus'.

At night, when the light signal is low, the hypothalamus stimulates the pineal gland, a small organ located in the brain, to release melatonin. During the daylight hours, the opposite occurs and the pineal gland produces very little melatonin.

You may be able to make it easier to adjust to your new time zone by exposing yourself to daylight in the new time zone, as long as the light timing is done correctly.

Air cabin pressure and atmosphere

Some research shows that changes in cabin pressure and high altitudes associated with air travel can contribute to some jet lag symptoms, regardless of travel across time zones.

Also, in airplanes, there are low levels of humidity. If you don't drink enough water during the flight, you can suffer from mild dehydration. Dehydration can also cause some symptoms of jet lag.

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