Some common travel illnesses are motion sickness, food poisoning, cough/cold and sunburn. Could you briefly describe some of these symptoms and how it can be treated?

Dr. Anzaldua: 

  • Motion sickness is a common ailment that may present during actual travel and before you arrive at your destination. Nausea (and sometimes vomiting) are the most troublesome manifestations. There are over-the-counter preparations that may help with these symptoms. Avoid overeating, excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Ask your physician for advice.
  • Food poisoning is another common problem encountered when traveling. Be careful and choose eating locations wisely. Dining at your hotel is always a wise proposition. If at all possible, drink bottled beverages. Diarrhea is a common manifestation of food poisoning. Consult your physician before travel to see if taking a prescription of an antibiotic would be advisable. In many cases, antibiotics are not necessary and may actually make matters worse. In certain situations, Bismuth salicylates (Pepto Bismol®) may help, but always consult your physician to make sure you can take this. If you should develop fever, abdominal pain, bloody stools, dizziness, you should seek medical attention.
  • Cough, colds and allergies are also common ailments while traveling. There are many medications available that do not require a prescription. Your health care provider should be able to offer suggestions specifically for you.
  • Over-exposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays (sunburn) can be a problem. Consider wearing sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when travelling to places where the sun may be intense. Remember to reapply every two hours. Again, please check with your physician prior to travel to see what would be recommended for you.


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1. Is it safe to travel during the pandemic?
2. Is it possible to find out if COVID-19 is spreading at my final destination?
3. What precautions should I take when traveling?
4. Is the air inside airplanes safe?
5. Other than the usual traveling articles and medications, is there anything else I should pack to prepare for traveling?
6. Are there any special vaccinations or travel medications I should take?
7. Is there a problem if I made airline reservations way in advance and prior to the pandemic?
8. I will be traveling to an area where the altitude is much higher than what I am used to. Should I be concerned or take any precautions?
9. Can long distance air travel effect my health?
10. If you’re losing sleep due to traveling (red eye or unusual-hour flights), what negative health effects can this have on my health?
11. Can the stress of travel (packing, planning, getting to the airport on time, passing through security etc) have negative health effects on your body or immunity system?
12. Can changing temperatures or weather climates from destination to destination effect the immune system or body?
13. Are there any other factors involved with travel that you can think of that can weaken the immune system?
14. What are your thoughts on how easy it is to get sick when traveling and what are some ways to avoid catching something?
15. What other recommendations do you have to help prepare and make situations like this easier in the future.
16. List a few points on what to do if you do get sick.
17. Some common travel illnesses are motion sickness, food poisoning, cough/cold and sunburn. Could you briefly describe some of these symptoms and how it can be treated?
18. Any additional suggestions?