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The places where we are most exposed to travel illnesses

Plus, what are the most prevalent bugs, and how can we avoid them?

Nobody wants to catch a bug overseas. But the alternative - avoiding a long list of countries where you could more easily fall ill - is undesirable too. Still, it pays to be well informed about such places. 


To that end, medical travel insurer GetGoing has released a list of the riskiest countries to catch a travel illness as well as the most common types of ailments. 



According to GetGoing, among the higher risk nations are India, Kenya, Peru, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. 


Other countries on the 12-country list include the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, Egypt and South Africa. 


When it comes to the types of bugs travellers are most exposed to globally, Hepatitis B tops the list, with a reported 2 billion cases throughout the world, followed by Dengue fever (390,000,000 cases), malaria (216,000,000), Hepatitis C (71,000,000), Typhoid fever (21,000,000) and Yellow Fever (up to 170,000). 


It’s reported that diarrhea affects between 20% and 40% of travellers. Other serious ailments, though not contagious, include altitude sickness (390,000,000 cases), jellyfish stings (150,000,000), sunburn and motion sickness. 


The top ways for bugs to be transmitted, according to the data, are in contaminated food, by poor sanitation and insect bites. Human contact, money, and contaminated water and ice are other common ways in which sicknesses can be transmitted. 


To help you stay healthy and safe, GetGoing recommends travellers visit their doctors (or even travel-specialist doctors) for vaccinations prior to departure, take DEET repellents that can be used inside and outdoors, carry travel sickness relief tablets, use source sealed water sources only, and steer clear of ice entirely. 


For the entire guide, click here.


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 18 January 2019

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