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Experts share their tips so you can have healthy holidays


ABU DHABI – With millions of people flying overseas for the holiday season, travel health experts at an Abu Dhabi hospital have shared tips for people to stay healthy on their holidays.

Climate, diet, disease prevalence, and even facilities in foreign countries may present unexpected challenges, so travellers are advised to do their research and prepare properly before traveling.

Dr. Maria-Fernanda Bonilla, Consultant Physician in the Medical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, explained: “We live in a fast-paced world, and a trouble-free holiday is important if we are to be able to unwind and recharge our batteries.”

A key part of the necessary preparation is that holidaymakers should seek proper health advice and immunizations before they travel.

Dr. Bonilla said: “Ideally, you should book your appointment six weeks before you travel, but it is never too late. Advice, and some vaccinations like Hepatitis A, can be given as little as one day prior to travel. Also, patients who have persistent health issues should remember to take their medicines and their prescriptions with them, as well as complete documentation for any controlled medication.”

It is a good idea to seek advice on insect bite prevention before travelling to some destinations, as well as researching what precautions to take with food and water consumption. In some cases, medication can be prescribed for use if travellers suffer from diarrhea, malaria, or altitude sickness.

“It is also important to know what to do in a variety of circumstances and how to avoid getting sick,” said Dr. Bonilla. “For example, travellers should drink only bottled water and eat well-cooked food. When eating fruit, it is important to wash it with bottled water and to cut it yourself. Nobody wants to feel ill on holiday.”

Professional advice is especially important for those visiting countries with a tropical climate, rural locations where travelers may encounter insect bites, or adventure holidays where travelers are more likely to experience high altitudes or limited access to fresh water.

Simple but effective tips to avoid malaria and other insect bites include wearing long-sleeved, light-colored clothes, using insect repellent and a bed net. GAD/Expat Media


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