Common travel illnesses to watch out for

We live in a time when traveling is part of our lives. Every day more people are convinced that knowing the world and its various cultures is one of the most exciting pleasures. Traveling not only opens your mind, it also fills you with new experiences and memories that you never forget. However, beyond the joy of exploring other cultures and personal growth, we must bear in mind that traveling involves certain risks. Next, in this entry by Lugarnia, we will tell you what are the common diseases when traveling.

Common travel illnesses to protect yourself from

Depending on the country you visit, the risks of acquiring common diseases when traveling are different. Depending on the characteristics of the place and its geographical location, the diseases will be one or the other. Here we show you which are the most common and the places where they are most contagious.


This is one of the common diseases when traveling with the highest risk of contagion, especially in countries such as Asia, Africa and the South Pacific . Malaria is one of those diseases that, if not treated thoroughly, can lead to death. It is transmitted from the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito and its symptoms are high fever, chills and general malaise. That is, it presents the same signs of a common flu, however, its severity goes beyond a simple cold.

In case of presenting contagion there are medications that are successful for its treatment, although the best way to get rid of this disease is prevention.

Conoce las enfermedades transmitidas por picaduras de insectos


Tuberculosis ranks second among common travel illnesses , after malaria in infectious diseases. Its contagion is concentrated in developed countries.

Its symptoms are well known: frequent cough, tiredness, weight loss, weakness and night sweats. Many people with tuberculosis are asymptomatic, although the disease remains latent in the body, that is, the bacteria can be carried without getting sick.

It is a disease that is transmitted through the air, from person to person, and through secretions, such as coughs and sneezes . There are vaccines to treat tuberculosis, but they are not very effective in adults. The most effective treatment is with antibiotics if the lungs are not yet severely affected.

Yellow fever

It is one of the common diseases when traveling and that travelers should take into account before traveling to Central America, South America and Asia , since its contagion occurs through the consumption of food and water. Therefore, to avoid it, it is recommended only to consume bottled water and not eat in street stalls whose hygienic conditions are doubtful. Also, special care must be taken with fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw.

The symptoms of yellow fever are high fever, weakness, stomach pain, loss of appetite and headache , and its treatment is based on the application of antibiotics. It is mandatory to get vaccinated before traveling, however, the vaccine only guarantees between 50 and 80% safety.


Like malaria, it is about those diseases that are transmitted by mosquito bites, specifically, the so-called Aedes aegypti. Although it is not a disease that causes death, it can be a very unpleasant illness. Among the symptoms that cause this disease, are skin rashes, very high fevers, headache, pain in the joints. The fingers and toes become swollen, and there is also redness in the eyeballs.

For its treatment you can only take analgesic and anti-inflammatory in order to reduce the symptoms of the disease. However, you have to wait for the virus to complete its cycle and disappear from the person. It is one of the diseases that have originated in Africa and that have reached and proliferated to the American continent. Especially in the Caribbean area.


It is one of the common travel illnesses that are caused by a virus. Ebola is the disease that in recent times has caused the highest mortality rate in patients who suffer from it.

It is a virus that is transmitted from person to person through bodily fluids, in which the infection goes. Saliva, semen or blood are the most frequent form of contagion . Symptoms are: Fever, skin rash, diarrhea, vomiting, red eyes . Another worrying factor is that internal and external bleeding are seen in some patients.

In recent times, Africa has been plagued by this disease, causing epidemics that have claimed thousands of deaths. The Congo, Sierra Leone, Nigeria , among other countries are the ones that have been most affected.


Zika is a virus that is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms include joint pain, fever, red eyes – conjunctivitis – and a skin rash. The mosquitoes that infect Zika are the same type as those that infect dengue and chikungunya viruses . These mosquitoes generally feed during the day. You should know that there is no vaccine to prevent Zika , therefore, in this case prevention is very important.

Advice before traveling

If you have decided to travel and your destination is one of the countries or areas mentioned above, it is best to take precautions. The first thing is the correct vaccination . Before leaving you must be vaccinated against diseases that have a vaccine. Knowing how to distinguish the symptoms of illnesses , especially those that are confused with the common flu, can prevent complications and even death, is essential.

Using mosquito repellent, sleeping with mosquito nets and air conditioning, helps avoid being bitten by insects that are disease transmitters . On the other hand, you should also control the food you eat and the water you drink to prevent certain diseases.

If while traveling you suffer from any of the symptoms that characterize these diseases, you should immediately go to the nearest health center where you are. Being attentive to the body’s reactions is the key to knowing what health problem it is and how to proceed if it is infected.