Traveling to South Africa for the World Cup? It can be all fun and games as long as you follow these five tips from WorldNomads.com to help ensure illness doesn't spoil the good times.
1. Visit your doctor
Schedule a doctor's appointment for about a month before you leave. During your visit, discuss your travel plans and ask about any health concerns you have. Be sure your immunizations are up to date, and ask about the current vaccine recommendations for South Africa, which include measles/mumps/rubella, diptheria/pertussis/tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B and typhoid. Malaria is a concern in Mpumalanga Province, Limpopo (northern) Province, and northeastern KwaZulu-Natal as far south as the Tugela River and in Kruger National Park, so if you'll be visiting those areas, you might want to ask about anti-malarial drugs. Also, ask whether you should consider a seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccine.
2. Pack insect repellent
Even if you don't use insect repellent at home, bring some with you to keep away insects that may carry dengue fever and malaria. Experts recommend products containing DEET, but ask your doctor for recommendations. Other steps you can take to avoid being stung or bitten include wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants that completely cover your skin. Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, which is when most flying insects are out and about.
3. Carry your medications in your hand luggage
Be sure to bring enough of your medications for the duration of your trip PLUS another two weeks' supply in case you're delayed for some reason. Keep medication in its original
packaging and follow posted security guidelines at all airports. Always take a letter from your local doctor listing the medication you are carrying and that they have been prescribed for your use. Some medications may be prohibited in some countries, so it is recommended that you
contact the South African consulate or embassy for more information.
4. If you get sick, see a health care professional
If you develop a fever and diarrhea, you should see a health care professional as soon as possible. Cholera does occur in South Africa, usually in rural areas; however, there have
been periodic outbreaks elsewhere.
5. Drink bottled water
Always wash your hands before eating and only drink bottled or boiled water. Don't drink from fountains or taps, and avoid ice cubes. Only eat fruit you can peel yourself, and avoid eating anything that hasn't been cooked.