It is compulsory that you seek the advice of your doctor as to which immunisations you may require and any other medical issues you may have. Your personal safety is of paramount importance to us and therefore it is imperative that you advise us at the time of booking of any condition, medical or otherwise, that might affect your or other people’s enjoyment of the trip.
Comprehensive health and information for travellers is available from the Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad (MASTA), other similar services are available outside of the UK. The NHS also provides travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK at their Fit For Travel website.
Health Care Abroad
There are medical centres and hospitals at our destinations, international standard facilities and medical staff are available in Nepal, India and Tibet. It is necessary to have travel insurance that covers health care before you travel. Expect to pay for any treatment abroad up front and claim it back from your insurance company afterwards, it’s advisable to carry a credit card or emergency funds in such an event.
We don’t recommend travelling with any dental complaints, we suggest having a dental check up before you travel and make sure your travel insurance covers problems abroad, should you need it.
The danger of AIDS is extremely serious, casual sex is extremely risky.
It shouldn’t be necessary to go into detail on this subject, everybody knows how to stay clean, the following adage is always good to remember, “Look after your body, and it will look after you”, particularly important for customers planning a trek or mountaineering.
Most of our destinations have a low-no risk or low risk of Malaria but there are pockets of high risk, it is therefore essential that you observe the relevant precautions, please consult your doctor well in advance of travelling.
Please ensure that you have the relevant immunisations before you go, consult your doctor. The list below is only a guide:
- Hepatitis A & B
- Typhoid Fever
- Yellow fever – when coming from a country (even only transit) where yellow fever is present
To be considered
- Japanese Encephalitis (JE)
- Tuberculosis (TB)
Food and Water
Prevention is the key to minimise the risk of severe stomach problems. Wash your hands, stick to bottled mineral water or water you have treated with iodine. Do not drink tap water under any circumstances. Don’t brush your teeth in tap water. The food in most hotels should pose no problem, but salads, ice, fruits, open air sweets, shell fish, and ice cream should be avoided.
You are likely to get an upset stomach due to the change of diet, climate and general surroundings the body often reacts with ‘an increased metabolic rate’. This mild stomach upset is normal; it does not last, is not necessarily severe or particularly uncomfortable and barely needs treatment. If you are still unwell after 48hrs you have probably picked up a ‘bug’. Bad diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration and fever are common signs and you must contact your representative to go see as doctor. The only effective treatment is replacement of fluids, using purified water and perhaps a dose of antibiotics.
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), can occur in some people as low as 2,500m but serious symptoms do not usually occur until over 3,600m, even then it is not the height that is important, rather the speed in which you ascended to that altitude. AMS is actually more common in fit young men because they are more likely to attempt a rapid ascent by racing up the mountain like some indestructible super hero! As a general rule, it is far safer (and more enjoyable) to avoid altitude sickness by planning a sensible itinerary that allows for gradual acclimatisation to altitude as you ascend, you can hurry back down as fast as you like!
So, what causes Altitude Sickness? The percentage of oxygen in air remains essentially constant with altitude at 21% up until 21,330m, but the air pressure (and therefore the number of oxygen molecules) drops as altitude increases – consequently, the available amount of oxygen to sustain mental and physical alertness decreases above 3,050m. Altitude sickness usually does not affect persons travelling in aircraft because the cabin altitude in modern passenger aircraft is kept to 2,440m or lower. The only cure for altitude sickness is either acclimatisation or descent.
Symptoms of Mild AMS
- Nausea & Dizziness
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Disturbed sleep
- General feeling of malaise
Symptoms of Moderate AMS
- Severe headache that is not relieved by medication
- Nausea and vomiting, increasing weakness and fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased co-ordination (ataxia)
Symptoms of Severe AMS
- Results in an increase in the severity of the aforementioned symptoms including: Shortness of breath at rest, inability to walk, decreasing mental status, fluid build-up in the lungs.
A potential consequence of altitude sickness is an High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPO). HAPO results from fluid build up in the lungs. This fluid prevents effective oxygen exchange. As the condition becomes more severe, the level of oxygen in the bloodstream decreases, which leads to cyanosis, impaired cerebral function, and death.