The Explore General Information Booklet 5
Prevention Malaria: prophylaxis against malaria is vital in many regions of the world. See page 3
Local food and water: your Tour Leader will be the best person to advise you, but here’s a reminder of some less obvious (but common) sources of germs: n inadequately washed fruit or salad
n undercooked meat and vegetables n unpasteurised milk n brushing your teeth with tap water in risky areas
n ice cubes n drinking straight out of a can
Traveller’s diarrhoea: often caused by the change of diet and climate, lasts around 48 hours and invariably strikes when least expected! Treat water with the utmost care – when brushing your teeth, for instance, or swimming – and take care with your own personal hygiene, washing hands frequently. Antibacterial handwash gel is highly recommended. If you do get ‘Cairo Quickstep’ or ‘Delhi Belly’, you should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and take some electrolyte solution (e.g. Dioralyte) to restore the salts lost by your body. If you have to travel, anti-diarrhoea tablets (e.g. Imodium or Arret) may be helpful, but they can simply prolong diarrhoeal illness and are not a cure. It’s always an idea to let your Tour Leader know if you are suffering from diarrhoea. Be aware that an upset stomach may effect your body’s ability to absorb any medication you are taking.
Infectious Hepatitis (Hepatitis A/ Jaundice): perhaps more of a menace than any of the better known diseases in areas with primitive or non-existent sewage systems. Again, the best plan is to
take care with your personal hygiene and wash your hands frequently.
First Aid & medicines Taking your own first aid kit is a must – plus, keep a selection of effective plasters to hand. Remember to pack prescriptions in your hand luggage and not your check-in luggage. The Lifesystems range of medical kits available from our travel store is practical and well- designed. (Visit www.no
Prescriptions We recommend taking a copy of any prescription for medication you may be taking. Please make your Tour Leader aware at the start of the tour of any medical conditions which could affect your participation in the tour.
Sun & Heat Forget the sexy tan – just cover up and use sunscreen/sunblock! You’re likely to come back with a healthy, rosy glow anyway. Too much strong sun will give you sunburn or even heatstroke, so be gentle on your skin, acclimatise gradually – and you’ll end up with fewer wrinkles too! Use calamine lotion and moisturizers on prickly hot skin and sunburn. A good lipsalve is also advisable, as well as a wide-brimmed hat and very dark sunglasses with high UV protection. Sunscreen protection will depend on your skin type and you should get the highest protection grade available – and don’t forget your ears!
Dehydration Drink plenty – far more than you would at home. Whether in a hot climate or at high altitude, your body will be losing far more fluid and salts compared to being at home.
Alcohol Common sense is the key – abroad
For the latest UK Foreign Office travel advice check fco.gov.uk
as much as back home: alcohol will dehydrate you even more at altitude, whilst sunbathing or flying. At altitude, if undertaking physical activity, this will increase the risk of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). If you are planning to drive a vehicle, remember many countries have drink-drive laws similar or more stringent than those in the UK
High Altitude A few Explore tours include travel to or through regions of high altitude. These will be paced accordingly, with slow ascents and plenty of time built in to allow your body to acclimatise gradually.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS): anyone travelling to over 2500m (8250 ft) will be aware of the common and usually harmless condition known as Acute Mountain Sickness – caused by reduced pressure and a lower concentration of oxygen. The speed of onset and severity – as well as the altitude at which they develop – vary greatly between individuals; being physically fit affords no special protection. Again, your Tour Leader and local Mountain Guides are trained and experienced in dealing with AMS; if symptoms occur, do let them know. Travellers with heart or lung conditions, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure or on the pill must seek specialist advice before travelling over 3500m.
Deep Vein Thrombosis For more information on DVT, please contact the National Health Service or visit their website (www. doh.gov.uk
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