Books on Travel Health

mosquitoAre you heading out to some distant, exotic locale in the near future? Wndering if you’ve done all you need to immunize yourself again the nasty illnesses that await you? Well, consider taking along a book on staying healthy. Here are a couple of suggestions.

Probably one of the best is the Travel Health Clinic Pocket Guide to Healthy Travel by Dr. Lawrence Bryson. It’s an older book, but Dr. Bryson practices one of the newest disciplines in medicine. He is a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine, and his clinic in San Francisco is one of the leaders in the prevention and diagnosis of travel-related medical problems.

Dr. Bryson divides the nations of the world into three different degrees of health risk: Risk Level I nations enjoy health standards comparable like the United States. They include Canada, Northern Europe, France, Australia, New Zealand and the urban parts of Japan. “Risk Level II,” says Dr. Bryson, “are those with health standards which are satisfactory but not equal to those of the United States. These include the European countries bordering the Mediterranean (except for France), the nations of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the Caribbean islands (except for Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Israel, South Africa and rural Japan.” Health risks are high and standards of sanitation and hygiene are poor or unpredictable in Risk Level III countries. This group includes all of Central America and tropical South America, Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and all the nations of Asia and Africa except for Japan, Israel and South Africa.

On top of all this is some useful discussio of the types of diseases you need to concern yourself with, and how and when to deal with immunizations. You can’t prepare yourself for everything, and you can’t guarantee that you will not get sick, but picking up a book like this can be a way help educate yourself about the various problems you might face.

The Rough Guide has a handy guide to keeping healthy while overseas and it look slike you can get one pretty cheap on Amazon. And for those traveling to Africa, you might consider the Lonely Planet Guide to health safety.