travel in some regions of the world. Alsovisit your doctor to get advice specific toyour unique health conditions.
“One of the biggest concerns I have whenpeople travel is that they are taking blanketadvice from websites,” says Jeffery. “Theygo to the web and read about what theyneed to travel in Thailand. But the riskstotally depend on the type of travel.
“Are you going to be staying in a five-
star hotel, or are you backpacking? Are
you eating in the hotel or buying food
from street vendors? What are your exist-
ing health conditions? Two people going
to exactly the same place for the same
length of time have very different risks.”
Jeffery adds the advice she gives her
clients is as fluid as the global situation,
which is constantly in flux. “Risks change
after natural disasters, like the Pakistan
flood or the Haiti earthquake, or infec-
tious outbreaks like H1N1,” she explains.
Remember to be aware of the food andbeverages you consume on your wintervacation, especially in hot climates. Morethan 30 percent of travellers contractdiarrhea during their vacation.
“Take precautions,” Effa stresses, add-
ing that good handwashing is essential.
“You don’t want to spend several days
of your week-long vacation recovering
Effa advises vacationers pack an over-
the-counter diarrhea medicine and an
antibiotic, like ciprofloxacin, which you
can get from your doctor before you go.
She says a moderately effective vaccine for
diarrhea is available at travel clinics, but
shouldn’t be relied on. She also recom-
B, which attacks the liver and is contracted
from contaminated food and water. a
advises his patients adopt a fitness
regime before they go on their ski vaca-
tions. For downhill skiers, he suggests
lifting weights to build leg strength. For
cross-county skiers, Wade says cardio
exercises are good preparation for the
aerobically demanding sport.
Nancy Staniland, manager of theAHS Provincial Injury Prevention Team,recommends downhill skiers and snow-boarders of all ages wear an appropriatehelmet (see “Kids stuff,” pg. 20). She alsosays new and novice skiers can reducethe risk of injury by taking lessons froma professional.
After the ski vacation begins, skiersneed to monitor their energy levels.“Don’t take the last run,” Wade cautions,admitting he knows from experience thatthis is more difficult than it sounds. Andhe says the third day of skiing is oftenwhen skiers are tired and get injured.“Take it easier on day three and get somerest,” he suggests.
Before boarding a plane to your far-offdestination, check with AHS’ travel clinicsabout country-specific health risks, the potential of contracting an infectious diseaseand preventing travel-related illnesses.
These and numerous other clinics can giveyou the vaccinations recommended for
“Two people going tothe same place havevery different risks.”— Colleen Jeffery, AHS’s CalgaryInternational Travel Clinic