Without wanting to play the role of an insurance agent, it may nevertheless be pointed out that an often relatively cheap insurance can save very high costs in the final analysis.
Find out in advance whether there are any agreements with the respective country regarding medical treatment (e.g.B. E111 certificate) and get a corresponding confirmation from your health insurance company.
A luggage or car insurance offers comprehensive protection at often quite favorable conditions. The small print tells you how to store your luggage and valuables so that the insurance really pays in case of theft.
A return health insurance policy saves a lot of money in case of need. You should pay attention to the wording "medically reasonable" in the fine print – this way a return transport is possible even in case of doubt. A repatriation only in case of "medical necessity" often does not take place, as long as a treatment comparable to Germany is also possible abroad.
Extreme athletes should think about their own accident insurance.
A photocopy of the documents can save many complications in case of loss of the same (also on encrypted USB stick, z.B. easy to carry with TrueCrypt).
If you should need constantly medicines, please provide for a sufficient supply. These drugs should be distributed among the hand luggage and the rest of the luggage, so that in case of loss of a piece of luggage the further supply is secured.
Diabetics requiring insulin and carrying syringes and needles should carry multilingual confirmation of the need for these paraphernalia to avoid any problems at customs. Do not forget test strips and diabetic card!
People with metal spare parts such as hip prostheses or pacemakers should have a multilingual certificate ready for the security checks at the airport.
If medication is taken regularly, please also take into account the time difference (z.B. Diabetics!!)
Thrombosis prophylaxis may be necessary for long car rides or long flights. In any case, you should drink a lot during the flight (water, no alcohol) and work the muscle pump regularly (every 30 minutes) (bounce vigorously from heels to toes), also do not wear constricting clothing.
Medication "on the spot
Do not buy medicines at your vacation destination that are often much cheaper than those available in Germany (e.g.B. Malaria drugs in Africa or Asia) must be strongly discouraged, because mainly from Asia originating plagiarism is offered (in studies up to 50% of the goods!), which often do not contain any effective substance, and in the worst case may even contain drugs and amphetamines.
Medical travel tips
Sun tanning is "in" but sunburns age the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer, insb. for children under five. Therefore, be sure to use a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor and give the skin time to get used to the intense sunlight.
TIP: Lying in the shade is still best.
It harms the skin the least and you still get a nice tan!
sun rays penetrate up to one meter into the water.
If you swim a lot, you should use waterproof lotion.
If you have brains, protect them. A sun hat protects the sensitive head from too much sun. Because sunstroke takes the fun out of it. Remember to bring enough sunscreen with you.
To avoid conjunctivitis, it is worth investing in a good pair of sunglasses with UV filters.
People with sun allergies should definitely see a doctor in a timely manner (at least 2 months in advance) to seek therapy (e.g.B. with vitamin A preparations) to be discussed.
Swimming in lakes and rivers
Do not lie directly on the sand, but always on a mat. At the beach, bathing shoes avoid many an unpleasant experience with sharp-edged shells or sea urchin spines.
Swimming in tropical lakes and rivers is only allowed if they have been explicitly cleared by the local authorities. Be warned not only against dangerous predatory fish (piranhas in the Amazon region), but v.a. also protect against parasites, such as z.B. Bilharzia (hookworms in lakes and rivers that can bore through the bare skin of swimmers and destroy internal organs years later) or Larva migrans, which lurks at sandy beaches waiting to bore into the soles of the feet of unsuspecting tourists.
Every change of climate puts the organism under stress. Give your body two to three days to acclimatize.
Please note the following basic rules:
The old rule of "boil it, peel it, cook it or forget it" still applies.
Avoid drinking tap water, avoid ice cubes or ice creams, furthermore as far as possible salads resp. raw vegetable products, unpeeled fruits and raw fish or meat dishes. The mentioned food is often not hygienic in tropical countries, contaminated with fecal germs and can therefore transfer infectious agents to you. Clear water can be boiled for a short time (10 min.), cloudy water can be made free of pathogens by filtration and boiling. But be careful: diarrhea viruses pass the common filter systems, which is why filtering alone is not sufficient! As an alternative, industrially processed drinking water delivered in original sealed bottles, as well as all "soft drinks" with an intact cap, can be used. A can cap should be cleaned beforehand.
Tips for diarrhea
So-called "traveler's diarrhea" is almost always a result of eating spoiled food or poor drinking water hygiene and the associated ingestion of germs. Characteristically, the disease begins within hours to a few days after infection, with the following 4 symptoms present in varying degrees:
Diarrhea – Abdominal pain – Vomiting – Fever
With few exceptions, traveler's diarrhea is self-healing; however, without treatment it always lasts several days. However, it is possible to shorten the duration of the illness decisively and to restore the ability to travel by immediate energetic treatment. Since it is important to eliminate the germs and toxins from the body quickly should be refrained from taking "constipating" drugs such as z.B. Imodium except in exceptional cases (z.B. long bus trip with impossibility to make frequent toilet stops) be left aside. Make sure you have enough fluids and electrolytes (z.B. 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 level teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of baking soda to 1 liter of boiled, cooled water). However, if bloody diarrhea or very severe general reactions occur (fever>39°C), an antibiotic should be taken (z.B. Ciprofloxacin 500mg 1-0-1 over 5 days – dosage only for healthy adults!) In countries with high ciprofloxacin resistance (z.B. Asia), azithromycin is the drug of first choice – for healthy adults z.B. 500mg 1-0-0 over 3 days.
Should diarrhea with fever occur during the stay in a malaria area one week or later after the start of the trip, it is also necessary to think about the possibility of the presence of malaria and seek medical attention immediately.
Medication and vomiting
If vomiting occurs after taking medication, the question always arises as to whether the medication previously taken is effective enough to. In general, this can be done according to the following scheme
(also applies to antimalarials):
Vomiting up to 30 minutes after taking medication Total dose taken again
Vomiting 30-60 minutes after taking medication ½ dose again
Vomiting later than 60 minutes after taking the medication dose is considered to be ingested
Some important infectious diseases in the tropics are transmitted by mosquitoes or other arthropods. Please keep the following rules in mind:
Since most mosquitoes show their main activity during dusk and dawn, you should protect yourself from bites at this time of the day by wearing long-sleeved blouses or. The use of repellents (mosquito repellent lotions applied to the skin) is also suitable, with NOBITE preparations (a new development that is available both as a waterproofing spray for clothing and as a lotion) offering particularly long-lasting protection. It should be applied only to the uncovered skin. Light, white colors should be preferred, as these are less interesting for insects than colorful clothing and insects can also be detected better on white clothing. Sleeping in fully air-conditioned rooms also means a considerable reduction in the risk of insect bites. If you plan to camp outdoors or go on safaris, taking a mosquito net with you is a perfectly sensible measure. And remember: there are also day-active mosquitoes that z.B. transmit the dengue fever. Ticks (carriers of rickettsiae) are also diurnal and are "picked up" while walking through the grass. It is best to search each other after excursions "into the undergrowth" for the small pests.
Sexually transmitted diseases
A number of infectious diseases can (also) be transmitted through sexual contact. These are mainly AIDS, hepatitis B, gonorrhea and the syphilis. The protection against these infectious diseases is solely up to the traveler's sense of responsibility. The use of condoms offers protection against such infections. However, it is strongly recommended to stock up on quality local products; the market in the destination country often offers lower quality products. The security is then not very big. In addition, one must keep in mind that in parts of Africa and Asia (Thailand) the percentage of HIV positive prostitutes is over 90% respectively. the proportion of HIV-positive adults in the total population reaches 20-30%. Therefore, ask yourself carefully whether a sexual contact with the domestic population must necessarily be! An infection with HIV is not visible to the people, even if they look "like the blooming life.
How do I find a good doctor at my vacation destination?
A good place to start is always the local German Embassy, which can arrange for a doctor or provide one themselves. If no one can be reached there (z.B. Nights, weekends) it is best to contact the local representative of a major airline (z.B. Lufthansa), which also has well-trained company doctors who specialize in getting patients back "fit" to fly again.
The dog bite
Rabies is still prevalent in many parts of the world. Especially in Africa and India many animals are infected with this deadly disease. About 55.000 people die of rabies every year, half of them in India. Be sure to stay away from animals and avoid mucous membrane contact or bite injuries. Best protection is rabies vaccination (3 vaccinations on days 0, 7 and 21 with protection for 3 years). If you are bitten by an animal suspected of rabies, immediately contact the German embassy on the same day to obtain an appropriate emergency vaccination. Since this is often not in stock, the vacation is then to cancel immediately and fly back to Germany. Even if you are bitten by such an animal as a vaccinated person, a vaccination is due on days 0 and 3. The most dangerous are bites to the neck us face, as this is when the 100% fatal disease breaks out the fastest. Children are accordingly most at risk.
Bites from snakes should be avoided at all costs. Most bites happen as accidents when stepping on the snake. Often these are defensive bites where no poison is injected. The most important rule is to remain calm and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Do not bind the arm/leg under any circumstances, do not suck out the wound, do not cut the wound – all these measures only make the situation unnecessarily worse. Immobilize the extremity if possible. If no clear tissue swelling forms around the bite site within the first hour, in all probability no poison was injected.
A word in conclusion..
Fortunately, the vast majority of trips go as planned and without health problems.
Should you experience any health problems after your trip, such as z.B. unclear fever, cough, bruises, rash, diarrhea or weight loss, consult a doctor with experience in tropical medicine. Malaria must also be ruled out. This disease can break out years after a stay in the tropics and endanger your health and life. Do not hesitate.