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Travel health information

Travel health information
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There is plenty of information about travel health, but which resources are reliable?

High quality information about health risks will help you to make good choices while you travel. But with a whole internet of information out there, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Let us tell you about some of the best sources of travel health information.

Face to face

If you are concerned about your ability to manage a health condition, then you should speak first of all to your normal healthcare provider. You could also visit a pharmacy and ask for advice about basic self-care for many minor illnesses or use Health link to speak to a nurse.

When you come for your travel vaccinations, the specialist travel nurses at Global Travel Clinics can also answer questions on topics like sun safety, accident prevention and food and water safety. They will have access to the latest information about disease outbreaks and other health risks. Jot down your questions before your appointment so that you can take full advantage of their expertise.

If you fall ill while abroad, check our article Medical help for some tips.

NHS Choices

NHS Choices is the UK’s largest health website and aims to provide a comprehensive information resource that helps people make good health choices. The site is easy to search, and it is frequently updated. The content is written by experts, so you know you’re getting excellent, reliable advice.

NHS Fit for Travel

Fit for Travel is run by NHS Scotland and it provides travel health information aimed at people travelling abroad from the UK. It is a comprehensive resource compiled by the Travel and International Health Team at Health Protection Scotland (HPS) – which protects public health in Scotland. HPS runs the travel health database Travax, which is commonly used by travel health professionals. Fit for Travel offers advice by destination and also on topics ranging from accident prevention to Zika virus infection.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is a UK government department that promotes the UK’s interests overseas. It provides foreign travel advice, including details of health risks. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also has information about what to do if you need help abroad.

The World Health Organization

The United Nations agency the World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned with public health. It maintains an extensive website full of information aimed at both the public and healthcare professionals. One of its most useful resources for travellers is the Disease Outbreak News, which travellers can use to quickly check what’s going on at their destination. WHO also has some useful factsheets which provide more details about certain conditions.

Sources to avoid

It is better not to rely on advice from user-generated content. This includes message board posts and personal blogs. This information may be useful as a jumping-off point, but always compare it to authoritative, trustworthy sites managed by healthcare professionals.

The situation on the ground can change very quickly, so make sure your advice is up-to-date. Many sites date their pages, but if the site you are relying on does not, look elsewhere before you decide based on the information.