How to Keep Safe from Infection While Traveling

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How to Keep Safe from Infection While Traveling

Getting sick or injured while on holiday is one of the worst things that can happen to you, especially if it's at the start of your trip, ruining the rest of your vacation. Colds and flu are circulating in countries around the world and the recent coronavirus or Wuhan virus is spreading at a worrying rate, causing many to consider canceling trips to the Far East. However as cases in some countries are still low, there's no need to cancel your dream holiday, instead take these precautions to stay safe on your travels.

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How to Keep Safe from Infection While Traveling

Wash Your Hands Regularly (With Soap)

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It's highly recommend to take some form of antibacterial hand gel when out and about, especially if you're using public transport. People with the flu or other viruses may not have washed their hands when holding onto straps on trains or opening doors, spreading bacteria onto them. While you won't get a cold through your hand, most people will then transfer the bacteria to themselves by touching their phone or face. Wash your hands with antibacterial gel after touching anything public, it's always better to be careful.

Stop Touching Your Face

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Germs from viruses are often passed from hands to the body via entry points on the face, mainly the eyes, nose and mouth. Although it's usually more common through inhaling viral bacteria, people don't tend to realize that viruses like the flu can start from bacteria entering the eye or just itching your nose. If you've been touching anything that other people might have touched such as door handles, elevator buttons or handrails, wash your hands before touching anywhere on your face.

Consider Getting a Flu Vaccine

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If you're traveling to a major city such as Hong Kong or Tokyo, sometimes it's best to get vaccinated for the latest strain. Be aware that if you had a flu shot last year, it probably won't help with the different strains of flu that change with every flu season. Unfortunately there is no vaccine for the current strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) yet.

Make Sure Your Immune System is Strong

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With a strong enough immune system you can make sure your body fights off infection before it spreads around your body. This is generally done by being physically healthy, getting a good amount of sleep, eating a balanced diet with plenty of Vitamin C and drinking plenty of fluids. If you're healthy before and during your travel, the chances of picking up something are much less.

Do your Research

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Make sure to do proper research before heading to your destination. Get the correct vaccines such as typhoid or hepatitis if needed and bring any tablets you might need. Mosquitoes are usually found in high numbers near water such as rivers and lakes, if you're traveling to somewhere with potential mosquito carrying diseases, make sure to bring insect repellent. Rural areas in Southeast Asia or China often have animals infected with rabies, be careful and make sure to know where the nearest hospital is just in case.


If you've checked the news about your destination and heard there's been a huge influx of flu or virus cases there, wear a surgical mask when in crowded places such as the subway and try to avoid too much physical contact with strangers. Even if there are not many cases or reports it still helps to be careful while traveling. Getting the flu while you're on a trip of a lifetime can be a horrible feeling, both physically and mentally and potentially even life threatening.

Bars and nightclubs are another place where it's easy to pick up something, it's hard to keep up precautions when you've had a little too much to drink, and crowded bars can be an easy place to meet someone with the cold or flu. A good tip is to bring some antibacterial hand wipes and regularly use them while at such a place and avoid being too close to people you can't be sure aren't carrying any viruses.