Travel Myths

I've come across some classics in my time, like  
  • "I can't catch Leprosy, I'm not poor" 
  • "Everest is the only place you can get sick from altitude" 
The best one yet has to be
  • "I won't catch Malaria, I drink too much Gin" 
Do these people actually believe what they're saying or were they just put on this planet to annoy those of us with brains? 
I was in the Doctors Surgery this morning collecting some of the biggest tablets I've ever seen, when I saw this leaflet entitled There is no such thing as risk free travel. It had just been placed on the table in the waiting room by a kid who looked about 8 years old. Her Mum had just told her... now wait for it, this will knock your socks off... "We don't need that, we're going to Ghana not f***ing Africa" Now there are a few things that I should point out before I go any further. 
  • Last time I looked, Ghana was in Africa
  • This is the very sort of person the leaflet was written for 
and finally
  • Why was the woman 'f***ing' at an 8 year old?
Back to the leaflet. I had to read it after the Ghana/Africa comment, it's actually quite good. It's from the 8 weeks to go campaign guys funded by GlaxoSmithKline, in association with Fit For Travel, The Royal College of Nursing and that Know Before You Go bunch from Foreign & Commonwealth Office. 
Like me, 8 Weeks To Go are trying to educate Brits about the importance of getting advice before you travel overseas. It's far better to ask questions and be told not to worry you're perfectly safe, rather than go to Ghana for example (which is still in Africa) not knowing about Malaria, that is a risk all year long. Not to mention Dracunculiasis, Dengue Fever, Leishmaniasis, Rabies, Schistosomiasis, I could go on to say what foods to avoid like cold buffets and butter or cream, I could tell you all about the dysentery, both amoebic and bacillary, but hey, they're not going to Africa.

What I'm trying to say is, if you are planning on going overseas, no matter where it is, ask at your Doctors Surgery for advice. Check out the links above, or even ask me. It does say travel advice on my new letterheads after all. If you need jabs, make sure you get them in time, if you need to take extra medicines with you, guess what, make sure you get them in time. So how much time do you need? Did I say this leaflet was from 8 weeks to go? 

To quote the leaflet...
Given the potential risk of infectious disease associated with overseas travel, can you afford not to seek travel advice 6-8 weeks before travel?


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