Avoiding infectious diseases while traveling

Avoid getting sick on your next trip with these tips:


1. Wash your hands.

Spend 20 seconds washing, including under the nail beds. If you can’t wash your hands right away, avoid touching your face to prevent germs from entering your eyes, nose or mouth. Use hand sanitizer if your hands aren’t visibly soiled.


2. Learn water and food precautions for your destination

Relying on your easy-going stomach is a surefire way to ensure you get food poisoning. Be wary of possibly unsafe tap water! Avoid contamination from water by foregoing ice in your drink and use boiled or bottled water for brushing your teeth and washing fruits and veggies. High-risk foods to stay away from include (but are not limited to):

  • raw and peeled fruits and vegetables
  • raw, rare or undercooked meats and seafood
  • unpasteurized dairy foods, including milk (do you know the word pasteurized in the local language?)
  • any hot food that has been left long enough to cool
  • food buffets

You want food that is cooked and served to you hot.



3. Protect yourself from insects

Use DEET protection while traveling, and make sure your place to stay is insect proof. Check the screens, spray a knock down spray (pictured above), and use a bednet.

4. Visit UNC’s International Travel Clinic

We want you to have the healthiest and safest travels you can. We can help! UNC’s International Travel Clinic offers general travel health information and destination-specific recommendations. Immunizations and medications to help you stay healthy and safe are also provided.





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