Why does the intrepid traveller need International Travel Medical Insurance?
Because many exotic destinations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East harbor health hazards and life threatening diseases.
Disturbingly, a survey by leading market researchers Taylor Nelson Sofres of British tourists found;
Lying in wait are insects that bite, germs and parasites you can swallow, and weird bugs that harm on contact.
Where to start?... Malaria, Japanese encephalitis, Dengue fever, Yellow fever, West Nile virus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley fever, Ross Valley virus, St Louis encephalitis, Typhus, Plague, etc. Still think you don't need International Travel Medical Insurance?
The best strategy with mosquitoes is to avoid being bitten:
Inspite of all your best efforts, if you are one of those unlucky people mosquitoes always seek out first (i.e your skin releases more lactic acid and carbon dioxide) you'll always be more at risk.
Tsetse fly ("sleeping sickness") , ticks, sandflies, and (Typhus and Plague transmitting) fleas only further complicate things. Very good reason to seek out professional advice from medical experts who can help protect you from these health hazards. Extemely good reason to have International Travel Medical Insurance in place.
It is estimated 30-50% of travellers from the Western world will develope TD when visiting under-developed countries.
Rangoon Runs, Montezuma's Revenge, Bali Belly, Aden Gut... call it what you will... it's caused by a range of bacteria, parasites, viruses and other bugs. This health hazard affects the safety and security of millions of travellers each year. Some folks end up mighty sick and count themselves lucky they took out international travel medical insurance.Facts About TD:
Schistosomiasis are small parasitic worms found in fresh water in Africa, eastern South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and southeast Asia.
Eggs from the worm are passed into fresh water from the urine of infected humans where they develope into larvae and invade fresh water snails. Thousands of new parasites are soon being released from the snails which can then penetrate the skin of swimmers.
Some swimmers may notice a local irritation of the skin and some may develope a fever. Others, however, may not show symptoms for months or years. Mature worms eventually invade the bladder or intestine where they cause inflammation and tissue damage and bleeding. Chronic anaemia can result if left untreated.
A particular hotspot is Lake Malawi in Africa where 133 cases were reported among British tourists alone in 1998. Some of these weren't covered by international travel medical insurance.
Leptospirosis is another parasite passed onto humans from the urine of animals and rhodents. It is carried on the surface of water and can enter breaks in the skin and mucous membranes eventually causing liver or renal damage. The fatality rate can be as high as 30 per cent.
Dracunculosis (Guinea worm) can be picked up drinking from contaminated wells. Ascariasis and Tape worm can result from eating poorly prepared food.
And even the beaches aren't safe.
Just walking barefoot along some beaches exposes you to the risk of picking up hook worms. The worms are parasites of dogs and can pose a problem where the animals have been urinating or defecating.
So what's the moral?
Don't let these potential hazards deter you from travelling... just do it sensibly. Be an informed, savvy traveller.
Don't end up languishing in some foreign hospital bed knowing you're not covered by International Travel Medical Insurance.VIDEO of the dreaded Amazonian Candiru...
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