Laura Maudlin - Jul 13, 2009
Despite clear evidence all around the globe that tourists are frequent victims of diseases when visiting new and exotic destinations, travellers still tend to spend more time choosing their flip flops and sun cream than worrying about which vital vaccinations to have and which preventive medicine to take with them.  In a poll commissioned by Novartis Vaccines, it was discovered that UK travellers are nowadays more concerned about which swim wear to take with them on exotic trips than taking the necessary steps to avoid getting a fatal disease. Amazingly, out of the 334 subjects of the poll, just one out of four got some health information before departure, and got proper vaccination. The results also showed that travellers are far more likely to protect their baggage than their health; only one in ten fails to take some kind of baggage insurance before a trip. Despite the clear warnings all over literature about health issues while travelling and the well covered items about global travel causing diseases to spread, with H1N1 being the best example of modern times, people are neglecting the basics and concentrating on the irrelevant details such as fashion and image. Companies have also been blamed for not doing enough to educate their employees about the dangers of visiting certain exotic places like Africa or Asia. It is not only the question of serious diseases, which worries people, yet also the question of less serious illnesses. As an example, diarrhoea is rife in Africa yet those questioned did not mention this as a concern before going. Instead, they often talked about sun cream or a new brand of sunglasses. In figures, 12% of those involved in the survey spent up to one hour to discover the biggest risks involved in reaching their destination.  Some didn’t even bother to do any research whatsoever. One in five Australians say health insurance is too expensive, whereas new brands of flip flops are not, leading to 36% of Australians getting into accidents, which could have easily been avoided.


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