December 2006

You are currently browsing the articles from Healthy-vacations: spas, medical insurance & evacuation, active travel written in the month of December 2006.

Reduce your risk of Hepatitis A & B on vacation

The best way to prevent Hepatitis when traveling is to get the proper vaccines. This is true even if you’re doing something safe like taking a cruise because common cruise destinations like Mexico and some Caribbean islands are moderate to high risk areas for Hepatitis B infection. This may take some planning, however, as you’ll need 2 or 3 shots to be vaccinated.

If you are not fully vaccinated against Hepatitis A, you’ll want to avoid water and ice. Stick to bottled water. Even swimming and prepared foods can put you at risk. Make sure that anyone handling your food has thouroughly cleaned their hands.

When it comes to Hepatitis B, even going to a spa can increase your risk as contaminated tools make simple manicures and pedicures possibly contaminating. When my parents went to Korea, they were told not to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Fried strawberries anyone?

This is certainly not meant to be an exhaustive list of how to avoid the risk of Hepatitis. I’s meant to show you the importance of planning ahead and getting your vaccines.

Written by Healthy Vacations on December 14th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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Petroleum spas in Naftalan, Azerbaijan

Petroleum Spas are becoming more common in Naftalan (in central Azerbaijan). Western doctors say that bathing in cruse oil may cause cancer, but locals in Azerbaijan disagree.

The New York Times reported this on the health benefits (or cancer risks) of the spas:

Gyultikin Suleymanova, the lead doctor, said the local crude was unusual because it contained little natural gas or other lighter fractions of petroleum, and as a result was safe.

Naftalan crude contains about 50 percent naphthalene, a hydrocarbon best known as the stuff of mothballs. It is also an active ingredient in coal tar soaps, which are used by dermatologists to treat psoriasis, though in lower concentrations.

The National Agency for Research on Cancer, an American government agency, classifies naphthalene as a possible carcinogen, though Dr. Suleymanova said that is not the case when people bathe in it. Baths are lukewarm and last 10 minutes.

The therapeutic benefits are a product of natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory agents that seep into the skin, she said.

Written by Healthy Vacations on December 5th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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