How do I avoid catching parasites when on holiday?

Dr Helen Webberley answers a reader question about the risk of parasites when travelling in the Ask WH section of Womens Health Magazine.



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Parasite infections – often contracted by drinking untreated water or insect bites - are on the rise as we’re taking more exotic holidays. They can cause anything from mild illness to a serious disease, such as malaria. According to Dr Helen Webberley, medical adviser for Medichecks: Symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating and itchy skin. Grim. Less obvious symptoms, like tiredness and weight loss, may come on slowly.

If you feel odd post-trip, see your GP for blood and stool tests. Anti-parasitic medicine can clear up an infestation, adds Webberley, but it’s best to take precautions: ‘Drink bottled water, cover up and use insect repellent with at least 50% DEET. Eating bananas, onions and garlic may also be a deterrent. To parasites and potential holiday flings.

Read the full article in the July/August 2016 issue of Women’s Health Magazine

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