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WELL BEING; It's safety first for FUN BATHING.

You've chosen your holiday destination, packed your case and cancelled the milk.

But have you thought of the hazards you may face abroad?

Four in 10 people return home ill from some subtropical areas.

During your few days in the sun in many countries, you are putting yourself at a much higher risk of getting hepatitis A, typhoid, polio, meningitis, malaria and tuberculosis.

Not to mention other problems, such as sunstroke and food poisoning.

But there's no need to abandon your plans - just follow the health rules beforehand, so that you can enjoy yourself and be safe. Even if your holiday is two months away, start preparing now.

First, get hold of the Department of Health T5 leaflet, available from most big post offices or by phoning 0800 555 777. This has an application for Form E111, which allows you to claim free or low-cost emergency treatment in most of Europe. The E111 form may not be enough in some countries - so take out extra insurance if necessary.

Outside Europe, you MUST have good medical insurance. Your bank, travel agent or insurance firm will advise. But don't just take the cheapest - take the policy that gives the best cover.

Check with your doctor about vaccinations, which may have to start up to two months before you go. Take malaria seriously. There are deaths every year among returning travellers. Even if you are taking anti-malarials, use insect repellents if you are going somewhere with biting insects.

Accidents can put you at extra risk in places such as Africa, the Far East or South America because of the standard of medical treatment. You can't be sure needles are sterile or blood is free from HIV or hepatitis infection.

And road accidents are more common and serious abroad. Many taxis and hire cars don't have working seat belts.

The best precaution is not to visit countries where the risks are high. But, if you must, at least take a first aid kit with basic sterile equipment.

Hepatitis A, polio and typhoid immunisation is usually needed for warm countries with water and hygiene problems.

Malaria is needed for most tropical countries.

And be warned... don't take sexual risks. The vast majority of people in Britain who are HIV positive due to the heterosexual spread of the disease, caught the virus after a holiday "fling".

But if you take the necessary precautions, all you'll have to worry about is having FUN!

SUFFERING from either psoriasis or arthritis alone is distressing enough. But they can occur together. Now there is a self-help group to advise sufferers and families affected by the syndrome. Contact PA Alliance, PO Box 111, St Albans, Herts, AL2 3JQ.

A REPORT shows only one person in four at the scene of an accident can deal with a broken bone and less than a third can treat concussion. Schools and factories should teach simple first aid. There are plenty of evening classes in most towns and cities.

SURGERY

I SMOKE 20 cigarettes and drink 10 cups of coffee every day. I want to visit a health farm, but I can't afford it.

GETTING the health farm to deal with your problems won't work. Once home, you'll revert to your old habits. So just decide TODAY to stop smoking. And if you eat better, you'll lose weight... it's as simple as that.

MY husband has become depressed after retiring. He was prescribed Nardil but has become quarrelsome. Could this be the pills?

YES. Nardil is an anti-depressant that can give this reaction. Your husband should ask the doctor to change them. He may need a test for early dementia - another possible reason.

I HAVE had rheumatoid arthritis for 30 years. For months I have had a "woolliness" and numbness in my knees, spreading to my thighs and feet.

THIS is an irritation of the nerves carrying sensation from your legs. The cause could be a vitamin deficiency, diabetes, or even sheep-dip poisoning. See your doctor.

My surgeon won't operate on my groin hernia as my angina is too active. Does he think I'm too old?

AGE is no bar to hernia surgery if you can benefit. But the anaesthetist may have advised against surgery because there is a risk to your heart.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Smith, Tom
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 1, 1997
Words:708
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