Destination weddings: How to safeguard health



(NC) — Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular among Canadians. However, what brides, grooms, and their guests need to remember is destination weddings come with health risks not prevalent in Canada. The good news is many travel diseases can be prevented with a little preparation.

For the bride and groom, there are so many fun things to plan—beach ceremony, music selection, colour themes, etc.—that they may put their health by the wayside. For their guests, they may feel most of the trip-planning is done for them so they can just hop on the plane when the time comes. There is, however, one planning step that should be a priority for the whole group to avoid potentially getting sick. Canadians should always make time to visit their family doctor or a travel health expert prior to departure.

“A physician will clearly explain what health risks are prevalent at their intended destination and how to help protect against them,” says Dr. Jay Keystone, travel medicine specialist and Director of Medysis Travel Health Clinic in Toronto. “Since there are so many misconceptions out there, this advice can be invaluable—for example, malaria is one disease many Canadians don't realize they can contract down south.”

Malaria is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes and symptoms include fever, headache, chills, tiredness, muscle aches, and vomiting. In general, it is a curable disease, but without treatment it can lead to more serious problems and can sometimes be fatal.

There are medications available that can help protect against malaria and some can even be started just days prior to departure. Also, avoid mosquitoes from dusk to dawn as that's when they're most actively feeding. Use insect repellent with DEET and wear light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing in the evening.


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