Here’s why you get sick after vacation

      Published on Thursday, 7 March , 2019      159 Views     
Here’s why you get sick after vacation

  • Life

You’ve returned from vacation and that post glow is fading fast. Your nose is dripping, you’re sneezing and your throat is sore.



Or your stomach is upset and you have diarrhoea. Why is this your reward for travel, and how can you prevent it? And what if your symptoms don’t go away?

Chances are it’s not the return home that made you sick, as we sometimes believe. Familiarity may breed contempt, but it also may give you a certain immunity.

“When travelling… one is exposed to viruses to which they are not accustomed,” Dr Mark Dressner, a family physician in Long Beach, Southern California, said in an email.

“At home, it is the same old cold viruses [to which] you might have built up enough immunity. Upon travelling you are exposed to similar viruses from around the country or the world but different enough that your body is not accustomed and you get sick from this virus,” said Dressner, who has been on 14 medical missions to Honduras and two along the Amazon in Brazil.

Another culprit: enclosed spaces, whether an airplane, cruise ship or car or the great indoors,

to which we retreat when it’s chilly or rainy, said Dr Robert Winters, an infectious disease specialist and founder of Westside Travel Medicine and Immunizations in Santa Monica.

“People are very, very effective at spreading various viruses and bacteria [by] coughing and sneezing,” he said, adding that you also may touch something an infected traveller has touched, such as a handrail or an airplane’s seat-back tray table.

Statistics vary on whether touching your face happens a couple of times an hour or hundreds of times a day, but it takes only one strong germ to find its way to its new home.

That welcome-home gift may be just a cold, which comes on gradually and is bundled with a stuffy nose and maybe mild chest discomfort, according to a chart from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that compares it with the flu, which comes on fast with a fever, sometimes chills and usually with aches.

When do you check with a doctor? If your symptoms persist for more than five days, nasal discharge is changing colours and you have fever, fatigue and malaise, said Dr Nikhil Bhayani, a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and a physician at Texas Health Resources who specialises in infection diseases.

This flu season has been milder than last, the CDC reported, but in the three weeks ending January 26, more than 100 people in California have died of the flu. If you think you have the flu, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor. Flu tends to peak in February, and seems to be hitting younger people harder.

Besides being up to date on immunisations and, of course, avoiding sick people, your best bet in combating respiratory illnesses, whether you’re home or on the road, is hand washing, Winters said. Not near a washroom? Hand sanitiser can be help, and packets of wipes can do double duty by allowing you to wipe down that tray table and other common surfaces.

And, Winters noted, “good sleep and good diet” can help ward off illnesses. Don’t forget to factor in jet lag as something that can play havoc with that sleep, he added.

Stomach upset

It seems odd that our stomachs may be upset when we return home, especially because we’re now drinking water and eating foods that sometimes meet a higher sanitation standard. Is this our gastrointestinal tract rebelling against that?

Probably not. Chances are you picked up a bug before you left your vacation destination and it’s been incubating, preparing for its surprise attack just when you think you’re safe.

What can help alleviate symptoms: Some over-the-counter medications.

Many people carry an antibiotic when they’re abroad in case they fall victim to traveller’s diarrhoea, and that may be effective upon your return. But, Winters said, it’s important to know that not all antibiotics work on illnesses in all parts of the world.

The antibiotic Cipro, for instance, is often prescribed for travellers, but its effectiveness in some areas of the world has waned, so be specific with your doctor before you leave and don’t be tempted to use old, leftover meds after you return to fight whatever you have.

The best prevention is making sure you aren’t eating undercooked meats or fish and being cautious about raw vegetables, water that’s not bottled and drinks with ice.

Be especially cautious as your trip ends, Dressner said: “Travellers have their guard down as a trip is winding down, so that salad or drink with ice looks mighty good, but one might not be as strict on that last day.”

Be aware that what you inadvertently drink can cause problems as well. That might be leptospira, bacteria found in water that is contaminated by faeces, often from rodents, Bhayani said. Be cautious about swimming in fresh water. Leptospira can be found abroad, but it also can be found in fresh water in the United States.

Again, if you’re experiencing symptoms after five days, it’s time to check with your doctor, and it’s especially important to communicate where you have been and some of the experiences you have had that could contribute to your illness.

If you’re a traveller, you know you can’t swaddle yourself in cotton and expect to see the world. But the precautions you take may mean the only after-effect of a vacation is just grumpiness that it’s over. The cure for that? Start planning your next adventure.



–Los Angeles Times

Keywords:
Category Life | 2019/03/07 latest update at 4:00 AM
Source : Gulf News | Photocredit : Google
160 Views
Comments Add comment



Related Articles

The editorial staff of Saudi Arabia Today would like to give all of its readers from Gulf and Saudi Arabia and the whole world the opportunity to participate actively in the development of the website! If you have something interesting, fun, scandalous - just something worth to be seen from more people. Capture it and share it in the Saudi Arabia Today with a short text.

Do you have information you want to reach our readers?

Send article/s

You can subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter and Google pages or use our RSS feed channel to always read the most important news about Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and the world.


Sponsored Publications



STEP Conference To Make Its Mark In Saudi Arabia In March
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia news

STEP Conference To Make Its Mark In Saudi Arabia In March

STEP Conference is getting all set to launch its first summit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on…

Oman tourists expected to rise to 3.5m by 2023

Saudi Arabia new rules

Property prices continue to fall in key UAE markets

King Salman receives Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker in Riyadh King

King Salman receives Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker in Riyadh

King Salman received Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and other members of the Assembly at Al-Yamamah Palace…

Saudi Arabia: King Salman welcomes Lavrov to Riyadh Gulf TV, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia: King Salman welcomes Lavrov to Riyadh

King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud received Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Russian delegation…

Saudi king meets Russian foreign minister in Riyadh King

Saudi king meets Russian foreign minister in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Riyadh on Tuesday, footage on the Russian…

King Salman receives dignitaries in Riyadh King

King Salman receives dignitaries in Riyadh

The Kingdom’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, senior scholars, ministers and a group of citizens called on…

GULF TV

Popular in GULF TV

PIRELLI “DREAMING” – THE CAL 2019 making of Full Version | Fashion Channel

1990 Views

A photographic tale of the aspirations of four women and their determination to achieve their goals, each one…

Latest videos in GULF TV

Events

Lifestyle

Culture

Sport

Science & Technology

Government