top of page
  • Writer's pictureKirk

Disease While Traveling

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

When I first began traveling to the less developed areas of the world my biggest concern was disease. Yellow fever, malaria, diphtheria, hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus, cholera, encephalitis, and even rabies. It's quite a list. Not all have vaccines for them either. Yeah my first few trips I was very vigilant to stay clean and as clear of disease as possible. Mosquitoes scared the crap out of me and I carried tons of repellent.


Before traveling to a country I read up on the diseases prevalent there. Then I would contact the health department and get whatever vaccine protection they offered. I was as safe as I could be.


And it worked, I guess. I never contracted anything of which I'm aware. Only the flu. Even though I've been the meal source of many mosquitoes, I've never even gotten malaria (no vaccine for that).


Since those early days I've become lax. I never even consider the possibility anymore even though whatever early vaccine protection I received is now long gone. Yet still I've traveled disease free. Were the vaccines even necessary? Have I just been lucky?


Disease can be very localized in the world. At least that's my experience. Even malaria doesn't run rampant but you're more likely to get in the city than the jungle. I was in an area where Japanese encephalitis was present but I never worried (after that first trip anyway). The case level was low.


The diseases most people fear are not as rampant in the world as people think. Most are not as easy to contract either.


But they're still present. I'm a Patriots fan. If you mention TB to me I'm thinking Tom Brady. But not everyone thinks of Tom. TB (tuberculosis) is still around. The disease which took the life of my great grandfather many years ago in America. Back then they called it consumption. But it's still alive today. This young boy I met in India had TB.



Yes I kept some distance from him as this is an airborne disease and I didn't want to bring it home to family, but I tried to not make it noticeable. I still got to within about 5 feet from him. I'm sure I've been close to many people with potentially fatal diseases but I don't think of it anymore.


For several reasons I'm not as fearful. Firstly, there are a lot of great medications available to us now. Especially with good health care available to us. I'm in good health, too. Most diseases can be cured. I have faith in modern medicine


Secondly, I practice good hygiene. I make sure I wash my hands regularly. I even wash the plates, bowls, and utensils I receive when eating with bottled water. I'm conscious to do it when no one is looking for fear to offend. But in China I did it in the open, that's because everyone did!


I don't even drink any drinks that have ice in it. I'm never sure of the source of the water that made the ice.


Thirdly, as I mentioned already, these diseases are not as rampant as you may be lead to believe. Additionally, most aren't even that easy to contract.


Lastly, I refuse to live in fear. I can avoid traveling to these places but I know what I'd be missing out on. I will not allow fear to guide me. Of course many would just call that being a fool. Maybe. But my attitude is I've had a great life, if I'm wrong and I die from a disease I contracted, I'm ok with it. It's the alternative of missing out on the experiences I can't live with.



12 views4 comments

Recent Posts

See All

The Line for Senior Citizens and Special Needs

Ok I know I just wrote about my difficulty coping with traveling with an old person recently: https://www.kirkstravelstories.com/post/traveling-with-an-old-person I talked about my reluctance to give

4 תגובות

דירוג של 0 מתוך 5 כוכבים
אין עדיין דירוגים

הוספת דירוג
Mike Wells
Mike Wells
01 באוג׳ 2023
דירוג של 5 מתוך 5 כוכבים

I appreciate the blogs of all the place that you have visited. I am very certain I will only visit these places through your blog. I am very comfortable in N.J.

לייק
Kirk
Kirk
01 באוג׳ 2023
בתשובה לפוסט של

You threw me for a moment. I thought you moved to New Jersey! I had to think about it.

לייק

Roger Wells
Roger Wells
31 ביולי 2023
דירוג של 5 מתוך 5 כוכבים

I know I would be very nervous about diseases in the undeveloped countries that you visit.

לייק
Kirk
Kirk
01 באוג׳ 2023
בתשובה לפוסט של

Yeah, I was at first.

לייק
bottom of page