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Pandemic First Aid: What To Bring When You Travel

“What should I take?” is a common question you ask yourself while planning a trip and it is far more complicated during a pandemic. The contents of the travel health kit depend on which country you’re traveling to and the state of your health. To preserve your health it is important to pack remedies that will help you handle minor medical issues, simple accidents, and illness symptoms that are easy to treat. This will keep you from hunting for a doctor with every single cut on the finger rather than enjoying your vacation. It is also just as important that you keep in mind medications and pack the necessary amount, and possibly a little more, just in case. It might be best to split your supply so you don’t store everything in the same place if one piece of luggage gets lost or delayed.

The following is a simple list of essentials for traveling during a pandemic.

Suggested items:

  •       Face coverings
  •       Hand sanitizer
  •       Remedies to treat superficial skin damages, disinfectants (Betadine)
  •       Gauze roll, and triangular bandages
  •       Band-aids
  •       Scissors and tweezers (tick tweezers if traveling in a tick zone)
  •       Thermometer
  •       Analgesics, antipyretics (Nurofen, Panadol / Ibuprofen, Tylenol)
  •       Anti-nausea pills (Daedalon)
  •       Salt mixture against desiccation (in case of diarrhea) (Sodioral)
  •       Antidiarrheal agents (Probioticum, Smecta)
  •       Anti-allergy medicine, ointment (Fenistyl gel, Fenistyl, or Zyrtec drops)
  •       Sunscreen (Derrmazin)
  •       Rubber gloves
  •       Sterilized safety pins

General health advice:

Where tap water is not potable make sure you only consume bottled and /or boiled water. Contaminated water is the source of most illnesses, like Hepatitis A, camp fever, cholera, or salmonella. It is also advisable to take water treatment agents to places where even bottled water is difficult to obtain. Don’t have drinks with ice cubes as that water could harbor contamination!

  • Do not buy food or drinks from street vendors, and make sure that what you consume is well done (roasted, fried, cooked)
  • Drink only pasteurized milk.
  • Protect yourself from insect bites (use insect repellents, put up nets on your windows, wear long-sleeved clothing, hat, closed shoes. Wear something on your feet even on the beach.)
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and use disinfectant.
  • Do not touch animals, especially dogs, monkeys, or cats (this advice is given to avoid being bitten by a rabid animal).
  • Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays by wearing a hat and applying sunscreen. Don’t forget your sunglasses either 🙂
  • Sunscreen is useful in the mountains, too, as the danger of getting a sunburn is even higher there than closer to the ground.
  • Finally, do not leave your travel health kit at home!

If you have any conditions that might place you at high risk for the effects of COVID-19, you should discuss this with your physician before you travel. You should also take along a list of your prescribed medications in the event you need to be hospitalized, along with your physician’s contact information.

Make sure you take a COVID-19 test before as you should not travel if you are positive. Many infected individuals have no symptoms at all, accounting for 40 percent of the spread of the virus. Getting tested or self-quarantining reduces the risk you’ll wind up sick when you are away from home or unknowingly place others at risk.

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