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June 28, 2019

International travelers should know about diseases of concern at their summer destinations

Prevention Disease
international travel disease Vincent Versluis/Unsplash

Stay safe, be an informed, healthy traveler.

It seems that 2019 has been filled with a surprising number of infectious diseases — from the nationwide measles outbreak to the mumps outbreak closer to home here in Philly to those treatment-resistant superbugs.

The sheer number of travel health concerns can make it tricky for people to know what to actually be worried about — especially when they’re heading off to exotic places. But Americans need to be conscious about what they consume, plus any local health risks.

NPR spoke with doctors and experts to nail down exactly which diseases should be on the radar of international travelers this summer, because no one wants to get sick on vacation or bring a disease back home that spreads to family and friends.

RELATED READ: Traveling abroad? You'll want to consider these vaccinations

Travel health safety has been in the headlines recent with the spate of mysterious deaths reported in the Dominican Republic. The deaths – some under very similar circumstances – and lackadaisical response by health officials in the popular Caribbean destination have spurred further investigation into how the vacationers died

Measles, of course, is one disease that travelers should be weary of no matter their destination, as it is on the rise both in the United States and globally, NPR reports.

People traveling to Europe and India need to be weary not necessarily of a disease, but of the heat, NPR advised. Heat waves, including one embroiling a number of European countries this week, have resulted in deaths. An expert told NPR that travelers should seek out any notices pertaining to violence or natural disasters in the countries they’re traveling.

Travelers heading to Israel this summer should be aware of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that is affecting the northern part of the Mideast nation, NPR advised. Tourists should know the risk of exposure from contaminated freshwater during activities such as swimming, wading, kayaking, or rafting.

Learn about all of the diseases that tourists should be aware of this summer, according to NPR

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