The government of Canada has issued some advice for travellers: Typhoon Haiyan (“Yolanda”) in the Philippines. The top seven tips:
If you must travel to the affected areas be aware that there is an increased risk of injury and illness:
1. Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel and purchase travel health insurance.
2. Get vaccinated.
Make sure you are up-to-date with all of your routine vaccinations.
• Discuss your travel plans with your health care provider or travel health clinic as there may be other vaccines to consider for your travel to the Philippines.
3. Practise safe food and water precautions.
Widespread damage to infrastructure in the affected areas has displaced millions of people, and has impacted sanitation systems and food and water supplies. Some areas remain inaccessible. There is an increased risk of food- and water-related diseases, like travellers’ diarrhea, cholera, hepatitis A, typhoid and schistosomiasis.
4. Protect yourself against insect bites.
Flooding and standing water increase the risk of insect related diseases such as chikungunya, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and malaria. Travellers should take precautions to avoid insect bites.
5. Protect yourself against animal-related diseases.
Due to the displacement of the people in these areas, there is likely an increase of stray animals. Travellers should take precautions to avoid contact with all animals, as they may carry rabies.
• Discuss the benefits of getting vaccinated with your health care provider.• Avoid contact with all animals, wild or domestic.• If bitten or scratched, immediately clean the wound and seek medical attention.
6. Pack a travel health kit, with first aid supplies and medication to handle minor injuries and illnesses, and to manage pre-existing medical conditions.
7. Protect yourself against injury and illness:
• Use caution around downed power lines, water-affected electrical outlets, and interrupted gas lines.• Be cautious near moving water. Avoid standing or wading in or driving through moving water.• Wear appropriate sturdy footwear in all disaster-affected areas.
If only the Filipino typhoon survivors could all follow this advice!