Thursday, 5 April 2012

Do’s and Don’ts to avoid Illnesses in Turkey: Travel Tips

Turkey is a holiday destination of many contrasts 
– from exciting cities to beach resorts and ancient sites to visit.

Turkey is still unspoiled out of the main resorts, however, and tourists must take precautions against illnesses like food poisoning or holiday accidents.

Travel Vaccinations for Turkey

Despite the fact that Turkey is now one of the most popular holiday destinations for UK tourists, there are still travel vaccinations which the Department of Health recommends for holidaymakers, including:
  • Hepatitis A
  •  Polio
  • TB
  • Tetanus

Because of the growing incidence of TB (tuberculosis), it is advisable for travellers to ask about having a TB jab for longer stays in Turkey.

For tourists who visit Turkey regularly – or if you are travelling to off-the beaten tracks destinations – the following travel vaccinations may also be necessary:
  • Diphtheria
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies

Dogs and cats in
Turkey often roam freely and so it is better not to pet them if you are unsure whether they are living rough. Wash your hands after contact with reptiles like geckos and lizards – reptiles carry salmonella on their skins and should be avoided if you are pregnant.

Food poisoning in Turkey

Turkey is becoming a hotspot for food poisoning cases and it is important to take care to prevent becoming ill on holiday in Turkey.

The following infections are all commonly diagnosed among holidaymakers to Turkey:
  • Campylobacter
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Dysentery
  • E.Coli
  • Shigella
  • Salmonella
All bacterial infections which cause gastrointestinal illness have similar symptoms, including headache, fever, stomach cramps, sickness and diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration.

Food poisoning infections are usually passed through contact with faeces, poor food preparation hygiene and by touching infected surfaces.

Medications like loperamide for diarrhoea and domperidone for vomiting can be bought over-the-counter – but if you are already taking medications or symptoms last longer than two days or are severe, medical help should be sought.

If symptoms include any of the following, seek help as soon as possible:
  • Passing blood in stools, urine or when vomiting
  • Feeling of drowsiness or confusion, which may indicate dehydration
  • Illness which lasts longer than two days or becomes worse.

Avoiding illness on holiday in Turkey

The EHIC card is not valid in Turkey, so if you are ill, your holiday insurance would have to cover any treatment – however travel insurance may not cover the cost of everything, such as repatriation.

The number to dial for an ambulance in Turkey is 112 – but to help you stay healthy on holiday in Turkey:

Food and drink                                             
  • Always drink plenty of bottled water (at least one litre a day) on holiday
  • Don’t eat undercooked meat, poultry or fish – or eggs, milk or cheese which is not chilled or fresh
  • Don’t use dirty cutlery, crockery or glasses and cups
  • Hot food and drinks must be hot – and salads and cold drinks like milkshakes must be chilled, otherwise do not drink them
  • Never swim just after a heavy meal or alcohol – or if you have taken medication or recreational drugs
  • Try not to overeat or drink too much alcohol in the sun –  you risk sickness, dehydration and possible sunstroke.

Out and about

  • Avoid dirty public places like WCs and report these to the rep at your holiday accommodation
  • Dirty swimming pools can lead to cryptosporidium infections (severe bouts of sickness and diarrhoea caused by a parasitic infection), so always shower before and after using the swimming pool – and do not allow babies in dirty nappies to use the pool
  • If you are taking part in dangerous sports, make sure you have the appropriate insurance cover – and that the company offering the activity carries adequate public liability insurance, safety equipment  and staff are properly trained
  • Mosquitoes are common in Turkey – use appropriate insect repellents and cover up
  • Take antibacterial hand wipes or liquid to keep hands clean if you are unable to wash them – hygiene is important if you don’t want to be ill on holiday
  • Turkey is great for sightseeing, so take sensible shoes as many of the sites like Ephesus may cover rough terrain.

If you do become ill, report this to your holiday rep and keep any evidence of poor hygiene at your hotel – your package company is responsible for making sure standards of hygiene are maintained and holidaymakers do not become ill with gastroenteritis under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, so know your travel rights.

Get in Touch

If you need legal advice in relation to a Holiday Accident or Holiday Illness then get in touch with your specialist Holiday Claims team on: 0808 145 1353 or visit our Holiday Claims website for further information.

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