Latest Blog Posts
3 golden rules for winter holiday safety
Heading out for some winter sun this year? Here’s how to enjoy a happy, healthy trip Summer might be over, but for many of us the urge to go on holiday is as strong as ever – in fact, the lack of rays can lead many of us to crave a top up to our Vitamin D levels. More and more of us are arranging to go on holiday during the colder months of the year as well as the warmer ones. One look out the window at the typically cold and dark weather on UK shores, and it isn’t hard to understand why. But if you’re planning on jetting off this winter, it’s important that you remember to stay safe on your holiday. Whether you’re planning some fun on the slopes or going further afield to soak up some sun, there are certain things you need to remember in order to have a holiday that’s both happy and healthy. So to help you stay on top of your holiday planning, we’re here with our three golden rules for winter holiday safety. Make sure you read through this guide before setting off to have fun in the sun. Prepare for potentially unpleasant flying weather Even if it’s supposed to be glorious sunshine at your destination, you will still need to prepare for the possibility of potentially turbulent flying conditions when you’re on your way there. Winter sees an influx of rain, sleet, snow and strong winds, all of which can make flying less smooth. Try to fly non-stop whenever possible and, if you require a layover, check connecting times so that you aren’t at risk of missing your next flight. You should also plan ahead and check the weather before you travel. That way you can make sure you pack everything you need to be comfortable and have contingency plans in place just in case there is an issue with the flight. Never take shortcuts when it comes to sun safety We’re much more prone to forget about the importance of sun safety when we jet off in the winter, especially if you’re going somewhere with a colder climate in order to enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Remember that 90% of all skin cancers are caused by over exposure to UV radiation, and UV radiation increases by between 4 and 5% with every 1,000 feet above sea level. So when you’re climbing high slopes with very little cloud cover, it’s important to take all the necessary safety measures. This includes wearing plenty of broad spectrum sun protection with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply your sun cream at least 20 minutes before hitting the slopes and make sure you reapply every two hours. Ski masks, sunglasses and goggles are all also good ways to protect some of the most sensitive areas of your face, like your eyelids. Do your research and get the vaccinations you need When searching for sun this winter, many of us will consider more exotic and far-flung locations. But the further and more remote you go, the more important it becomes to do your research and make sure your health is fully protected. Vaccinations are a vital part of holiday planning. Make sure you take the time to check whether your destination is a risk area for any potential health conditions. Getting protected before you travel is the best way to give yourself peace of mind before you fly. If you’re planning your next trip abroad, make sure you stay safe by taking a trip to Express Travel Clinic. Come and visit us in our walk-in clinic or get in touch with one of our experts today by calling 0208 993 58 89. You can also click here to book online right now.
21. Oct 2019
posted by Tim Deakin
A traveller’s guide to understanding diphtheria
understanding diphtheria: as one of the world’s most serious and life-threatening infectious diseases, diphtheria can do a lot more than ruin your holiday Diphtheria is an extremely infectious disease that can be easily passed between people. Even when full medical treatment is delivered after the onset of the condition, it still causes death in up to 10% of those who contract it. Diphtheria causes the production of a powerful toxin, which kills cells in the mouth, nose and throat. These dead cells build up and form a membrane which can attach to the throat, creating a choking hazard. The condition can also impact the heart and the nerves, leading to heart failure and neurological damage. Needless to say, travellers jetting off to potential risk areas for diphtheria should take care to avoid the condition. Here is a guide to help you with understanding diphtheria. A brief history of diphtheria Until the introduction of the diphtheria vaccination in 1942, the disease was a common childhood illness in the UK, killing around 3,500 children per year. Nowadays, the disease is hardly seen in the UK or in wider Europe thanks to the vaccination. In fact, since the start of 2015, only two children – both unvaccinated – have died of diphtheria in Europe. However, the condition is still common in some parts of the world. Where are you most at risk? Diphtheria most often occurs in poor-resource countries where routine immunisation may not be possible. The condition is reported in high numbers in south Asia, particularly in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. It can also be found in south east Asia and the western Pacific, specifically Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. Diphtheria is also present in sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria), South America (Brazil) and the Middle East (Iraq and Afghanistan). What are the symptoms of diphtheria? Diphtheria most commonly affects the nose and throat, though it can also impact the skin. People can carry the illness and pass it on without showing any symptoms themselves. Early symptoms of the condition include high temperature and fever, nausea, headaches, sickness, a raised heart rate and a sore throat. Once cells begin to die in the throat, they build up to form a thick grey-white membrane in the back of the throat. This can lead to breathing difficulties and eventually choking. If diphtheria impacts the skin, it can also cause ulcers. How is diphtheria passed on? It is all too easy for diphtheria to be passed from person to person. It is spread via water droplets that are coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. It can also be caught from direct contact with someone who has the disease. Diphtheria can also be caught from items such as clothing, bedding or toys which have been in contact with an infected person. People who have contracted diphtheria are infectious for up to four weeks or sometimes even longer. What can you do to protect yourself against diphtheria? Because diphtheria is so easily spread, simple precautions like washing hands or changing clothes are often not enough to guarantee your protection. What’s more, a natural immunity to diphtheria cannot be developed without first contracting the disease, which involves a high risk of death. The best way to protect against diphtheria is through vaccination. There are five doses of vaccine designed for babies and children: three doses of the 5-in-1 or 6-in-1 vaccine for babies, Pre-School Booster and a Teenage Booster. For adults travelling, a booster vaccine is most often advised. Safe and effective vaccination against diphtheria is vital for travellers setting off for risk areas. Thankfully, diphtheria vaccinations are available at Express Travel Clinic. Visit one of our four London clinics today or click here to book an appointment. You can also call us on 0208 993 58 89.
21. Sep 2019
posted by Tim Deakin