You’ve probably noticed that when you get off a flight, you come down with a cold soon after. And we’ve all heard the stories about the random illness that someone caught in a far away locale. But there are some seriously weird diseases that you can catch while you’re traveling. Check them out:
1 – Transient Global Amnesia refers to waking up with no idea how you got there or who you are. Scientists aren’t sure how it happens, but the odds seem to be around 3 in 10 of getting it. It can happen to both men and women and it may be more likely in people that suffer from migraines or heart disease.
It’s unclear how it can be avoided, but it may have something to do with the stress that is the reason for the escape vacation or using certain jet lag drugs or excessive sleep aids.
2 – Schistosomiasis is what can happen when you decide to swim in the freshwater rivers, lakes and ponds of certain areas in Africa, The Middle East, South America, Asia and the Caribbean. You’ll probably notice a rash and itchy skin as the first symptoms to develop but if fever, chills, a cough, or your muscles get achy, then seek immediate medical attention.
You can’t prevent the condition, but it does respond to medication so get to a doctor as soon as you arrive home.
3 – Hookworm may be a good reason to keep your shoes on. If you are in the habit of wandering barefoot, then you might not notice the itchy feet and painful blisters. But if your feet swell, then you’ve got worms living in your feet.
Hookworm larvae live in sand and get under your skin as you pass by. Treatment is relatively simply and is effective within a few days but to avoid the ordeal, consider wearing flip flops.
4 – African Trypanosomiasis, more commonly referred to as African Sleeping Sickness, is something of a misnomer given that it actually disrupts sleep cycles. Initial symptoms include fever, itching, joint pain, and headaches. Watch out for tsetse flies if you find yourself in sub-Saharan Africa, where they are all too common. The sickness is a parasite transmitted by the flies’ bites.
Without immediate treatment, the disease can cause neurological damage and even death. Use DEET sprays and wear light clothes with long sleeves in heavier weights to shoo flies away and prevent bites through thin fabrics.
5 – Ciguatera is a disease that you can contract by enjoying the bounty of fresh fish if you happen to be in the Caribbean Sea or Indian Ocean. It’s caused by fish enjoying toxic microorganisms that live in coral reefs. Initial symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. But they can progress to tooth pain and blurred vision.
There’s no way to tell whether your fish dinner is contaminated or not so it’s best to avoid eating fish (snorkel with them instead) or avoid the most likely contaminants including barracuda, moray eel and fish organs.
[Image: PX Here]