Many Spaniards are already about to prepare their suitcase to take a trip to enjoy their vacations. Therefore, from the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) have warned that tourists should exercise extreme caution, especially if its final destination is a tropical country, since about half of the people who travel to these countries they suffer some health disorder, almost always a infection.

Approximately 10 percent of Spaniards who travel abroad return with a health problem, but the percentage increases significantly - up to 50% of travelers - if the country visited is in the tropics, an area that every year It is frequented by around a million Spaniards, who come mainly during the summer.

Experts advise that people who are going on a trip to tropical countries go to specialized centers, where they will explain the basic prevention measures

Tourists usually get an infection and, as the experts remind us, in many cases this could have been avoided by taking a few simple precautionary measures (see 'traveler's health' and 'advice to travelers to prevent hepatitis'). Dr. José Antonio Pérez Molina, member of the Board of Directors of SEIMC and infectious disease specialist of the tropical medicine unit of the Infectious Diseases Service of the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, advises people who are going to travel to tropical countries go to specialized centers, where they will explain the basic prevention measures, and add that if they return to their trip - or during the following month - they have health problems, they should consult it immediately with their doctor.

Tropical diseases

Among the tropical diseases that most often affect tourists, travelers' diarrhea, which is usually a symptom of an infection in the digestive system, and which is usually transmitted through contaminated food or water, or by contact with other people when hygiene is not correct.

Malaria - also known as malaria - is a serious parasitic disease that is transmitted by the bite of Anopheles mosquitoes, and if it is not detected and treated in time, it can cause death. Young children, immunosuppressed people, and pregnant women are at greater risk of complications if they become ill. The most common symptoms of malaria are headache, fever, chills, extreme fatigue, generalized muscle pain, and vomiting or abdominal discomfort.

Also dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya are diseases that are transmitted by mosquito bites. That's why specialists recommend using mosquito-repellent products, covering with clothing in light colors, and not using soaps or scented creams.

Preventive measures

Some basic precautions to avoid this type of tropical diseases are:

  • Before traveling, consult the specialized centers to inquire about the health situation of the country to be visited, and get vaccinated or take the medication recommended by specialists in tropical diseases.
  • Hire a medical insurance that covers the possible incidents that occur during the trip.
  • Extreme hygiene, and take special care with food and drinks (drink only bottled water, do not eat raw or undercooked foods, wash and peel the fruit ...).
  • Use all possible means to avoid the bites of mosquitoes or other insects (mosquito nets, repellents, clothing that covers the largest possible body area ...).
  • Do not bathe in waters whose hygiene is not guaranteed, and avoid in general the rivers and lakes, and areas of standing water.

Source: Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC)

Why Some Countries Are Poor and Others Rich (November 2019).