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Many beach vacations involve going to parts of the world that pose health challenges that travelers from industrial nations might not anticipate. Many tropical destinations are plagued by mosquitoes and carry the risk of malaria or dengue fever. Some parts of the world have water that is not as safe to drink as in other parts of the world – or just foods with which your system might have trouble - and stomach distress can be a common complaint. In many places, doctors are some distance away, and your health insurance might not cover medical care out of your home country. Before traveling, meet with your family physician or with a travel doctor who can tell you what inoculations you need, what preventative and palliative medications you should bring, and what other precautions you should take based on your destination. You can also visit the Center for Disease Control or the World Health Organization web sites to learn more about the area you will be visiting, and you should check guidebooks or the national tourism offices of your destination to see whether there are laws governing what substances you can bring to your destination.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|