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Travel Tip: How Travelers Get Sick Overseas

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Getting sick overseas is no fun, but guess what? You’re not alone. More than half of international travelers to developing countries get sick, and about 8 percent seek medical treatment.

The CDC released a study based on 10 years of data from medical clinics around the world. They found that dengue fever is a growing issue, especially for in Southeast Asia.

The good news is, malaria cases have gone down. No big surprise, GI issues are the most common problems among travelers.

But most of those who got sick were those visiting family, not tourists. Translation? They’re the ones most likely to eat and drink from local sources.

OK, so what do you do about it?

Check the local news to find if there are any endemic or emerging diseases to be ware of—like the recent strain of norovirus that originated in Australia, or the respiratory illness from Saudi Arabia.

Always always check with your doctor so you can create a plan based on your personal health history. They can refer you to a specialist, and you can get shots and advice specific to the area you’ll be traveling in.

For more information, visit the Travel and Health archives.

Keep reading for more travel tips.