Respiratory Tract Infection
Respiratory tract infections are the second most common problem faced by travelers abroad, affecting up to 20% of people for a stay of 4 weeks. The risk is greatest during the trip due to greater exposure to a large number of people on tours, transportation, shopping and sightseeing. The problem is greatest in travel in North America, Europe and Japan, especially during the winter months. The virus mainly causes respiratory tract infections, but bacterial superinfection may occur and cause serious diseases like sinusitis and pneumonia.
A runny nose with sneezing and itchy eyes can be an allergy or infection and is common in spring in Europe. Blocked runny nose, sore throat and cough with a cold. If accompanied by fever, muscle aches and pains, the diagnosis is probably the flu. The cough produces yellow-green sputum is likely to be bronchitis or bacterial infection. respiratory tract infections are very common and it is prudent to prepare. Although there is no universal vaccination for such problems is strongly recommended that all travelers over 65 are the current flu vaccine available and consider the pneumonia vaccine too. All travelers should consider vaccination against influenza.
Medications to relieve the symptoms of respiratory tract infections (decongestants, antihistamines) & a broad spectrum antibiotic (eg roxithromycin, cephalexin) should also be considered for your medical kit.
While most respiratory tract infections will subside on their own, you need to seek medical advice if any of the following develop.
* A temperature over 40C
* Copious green or yellow sputum
* Severe sore throat & swollen glands
* Prolonged illness more than 7 days