Photo: daedrius (flickr)
Haiti, Indonesia, Uganda, and many other low income countries around the world are home to rich and vibrant cultures. But due to often poor sanitation and a lack of modern hospitals, they also tend to harbor dangerous infectious diseases such as cholera, yellow fever, and measles.
So if you’re traveling to one of those places, it makes sense to read up on health risks.
But according to one recent study, nearly half of the people who travel to low income countries don’t bother looking into health risks or taking any preventive measures.
There is a variety of reasons, including indifference and ignorance.
Some of the worst culprits, experts say, are people visiting friends and relatives. Because they’re either originally from the place they’re visiting or know it well, they’re more likely to ignore or not bother to learn about health risks.
They’re also less prone to stay in modern, sanitary hotels. Instead they tend to bunk with family and eat home cooked meals both of which can put travelers at greater risk of being exposed to infectious germs.
Families Can Be At Risk
The study notes that not being aware of health risks is not only dangerous for individual travelers; it can also put their families at risk if they bring a contagious disease home and spread it to their spouse and children.
The good news for travelers is that it’s not difficult to research health risks and keep on top of disease outbreaks. Websites such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization provide the latest updates and offer travel health tips.