It is understandable that travellers are currently primarily concerned with Corona. However, you should not forget about other particularly common risks.
Even if the coronavirus is currently influencing travel planning: Vacationers should not ignore other illnesses and health risks on the way. “There is not only Corona, by no means”, emphasizes the travel medicine specialist Prof. Tomas Jelinek. Sunburn, diarrhoea and mosquito bites are much more common. “Of course you should also prepare for that.”
Jelinek’s advice is always to take good sunscreen, a good mosquito repellent and a drug against traveller’s diarrhoea with you.
Pay attention to hepatitis A and TBE
Holidaymakers heading for a Mediterranean country should also have a vaccination against hepatitis A – this is an inflammation of the liver. That is “absolutely sensible”, says the scientific director of the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM): “In southern Italy, the risk of getting hepatitis A is about eight times higher than in our country if you buy something on the market.”
A TBE vaccination should also be considered for many travel regions. In southern Germany in particular, tick-borne tick-borne meningoencephalitis (TBE) has reached numbers that have never been seen in Germany before, says Jelinek. Here it can be useful to protect yourself with a vaccination.
Why mosquito repellent can be important
Mosquitoes can also transmit diseases. “Depending on the country, this can be more or less relevant,” explains Jelinek. Long-haul travel destinations are more likely to be affected, where dengue fever, for example, is rampant. In the Mediterranean this is not so much of a problem, further away it is.
The often-heard assertion that remedies bought only at the respective holiday destination work better against the mosquitoes present on-site, however, is an urban myth that cannot be eradicated, says Jelinek: “That is not true.” In low-income countries in particular, there is no market for effective mosquito repellants. The expert says that there are “very effective mosquito repellants” on the market in Germany that are also readily available.