4 Scary Scenarios You Needed Germ Remover Wipes On The Road
Getting sick while away from home is a traveler’s worst nightmare. Any traveler who has succumbed to illness while overseas will tell you how important it is to practice good hygiene.
It may seem like common sense, but thoroughly washing your hands after using the bathroom and before eating will limit the transfer of bacteria and viruses.
If you can’t wash your hands with clean water and soap, the next best thing is to use germ remover wipes or liquid hand sanitizer.
From the common cold to more serious diseases, the main culprit is the spread of germs. This can be through:
- Touching a contaminated surface or object then touching your eyes, nose, mouth or a cut;
- Eating or drinking something that is contaminated;
- Coming into contact with another person who is sick; and
- Being bitten by an animal that is carrying an infectious disease.
It is very common for travelers to come into contact with germs and it can lead to some very serious outcomes.
Scenario 1. Death after a Bout of Food Poisoning
In 2016, Australian father-of-three Rex Tickell died in Thailand after contracting food poisoning. He actually fell unconscious and his brain became starved of oxygen due to violent vomiting.
Food poisoning is very common, particularly if you are traveling in a developing country. Normally it results from eating or drinking something that is contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasites. For example dirty water, unwashed fruits and vegetables or meat that has not been properly stored or cooked.
Symptoms of food poisoning, such as vomiting and diarrhea, can appear within hours of coming into contact with contaminated food.
You can also contaminate your own food, so always have a few germ remover wipes with you to sanitize your hands just before you eat.
Scenario 2. Street Food Contaminated by Hepatitis A
Earlier this year, as many as 74 people have been affected with Hepatitis A after purchasing and consuming food from street vendors in the region of Antofagasta, Chile.
Hepatitis A, a viral infection of the liver, is one of the most common infections affecting travelers. It is spread when infected fecal matter enters the mouth. Fecal matter can be found in food and water and everyday items such as money and door handles.
It is a significant risk in most developing countries where sanitation and hygiene standards are poor.
If you are traveling to a country where there is a greater risk of Hepatitis A, make sure you are up-to-date with travel vaccines. Only drink bottled water and avoid eating food that has been washed or prepared using contaminated water. Always have some germ remover wipes with you to clean your hands as well as wipe down any surfaces where you eat.
Scenario 3. Contracting a Staphylococcus Infection
Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a common type of bacteria. Outside the body it doesn’t cause any harm however it can lead to an infection once it enters the body.
Skin staph infections can be transmitted through the air, by eating contaminated food, touching a contaminated surface or coming into contact with someone with an existing infection.
You can even cause your own infection by moving bacteria from hands to your nose, mouth or an open wound.
Generally you can avoid developing a skin infection through basic hygiene. Washing or sanitizing hands whenever possible, keeping cuts and scratches clean and covered and not sharing personal items such as towels, clothing or makeup brushes.
Scenario 4. Fatalities from the Flu
In 2016, pregnant woman Becca Meissner, 26, became sick while on vacation in Florida. She had contracted the flu and that in turn became Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which was the cause of her death.
Flu is the most common travel disease. This is because travelers bring different strains of the disease from all over the world.
It is most often transmitted through coughs and sneezes from an infected person. Tiny droplets containing the virus will be left in the air, waiting to be breathed in by another person. The flu virus can also survive on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours.
To minimize the risk of contracting the flu, avoid traveling to areas where there has been an outbreak. Wash your hands or use germ remover wipes when soap is not available.
In addition, the CDC recommends that everyone older than 6 months get an annual flu vaccine. Get your shots at least a fortnight before traveling. It takes about 2 weeks for vaccine immunity to develop.