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  1. #1
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    Health checklist after travel to the Philippines

    MOST visits to the Philippines are trouble-free, especially for those who have prepared well, sought advice from their doctor / travel health clinic 6-8 weeks before travel, and made sure of comprehensive insurance. There are several helpful websites ( www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk , www.fco.gov.uk/travel, http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/travel/as...lippines.shtml )
    and a checklist here (http://filipinaroses.com/showthread....to-Philippines ) .

    • This thread is not about falling ill IN the Philippines. If you’re unfortunate enough for that to happen, you will either self-treat for minor conditions or be covered by your insurance policy.
    • The insurance does need to be fully comprehensive for your needs – pre-existing illnesses need to be declared ; dangerous sports ( such as diving ) may not be covered ; not having taken recommended vaccinations / medication may invalidate claims.

    • It concerns falling ill – soon, or within weeks - AFTER returning to the UK, maybe in apparently good health. This MAY be nothing to do with where you’ve been, but a new illness or recurrence of a previously diagnosed illness. It could also be jet lag ( self-limiting ) or a cold – or, more seriously, deep vein thrombosis ( leg pain / swelling ) and pulmonary embolism or ‘flu ( chest pain, breathlessness ). Persisting tiredness could be due to anaemia ( which has many causes including malaria ); or mild depression from the reality of life / work in the UK, perhaps without your partner.

    • It’s impossible to be comprehensive in one thread, or to give links for every condition. Much of this is common sense, so forgive me if you already know it !

    • ANY traveller returning to the UK who has or develops a fever or other signs and symptoms should of course attend their doctor.

    • Tell the doctor all your symptoms, where you’ve been, including stopovers, and ( if it’s not your usual doctor, and you can remember ) your vaccination record.

    • Early symptoms of mild, self-limiting infections, and serious infections can be the same.

    • It could be “ traveller’s diarrhoea “ - common, with several causes, mostly not serious ( http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travell...roduction.aspx ). If it starts, or continues, after you have returned to UK, it COULD be one of several serious conditions such as typhoid ( if not vaccinated ), or amoebic dysentery.

    • Dengue is common in the Philippines and there is as yet no vaccine available nor specific treatment. Several hundred cases are now diagnosed each year in travellers returning to the UK ( not just from Philippines ). It's not spread from person to person.

    • Malaria is not common in the Philippines, but needs diagnosis and correct treatment ( free on the NHS ). A history of taking anti-malarial tablets does NOT exclude the diagnosis. About 2000 cases are now diagnosed each year in travellers returning to the UK ( not just from Philippines ).

    • Sexually transmitted diseases – including HIV ( rarely diagnosed in the Philippines ) – may present with a fever among other symptoms. I’m making no judgements here – medical consultation is confidential, as of course are “ Special Clinics “ at NHS hospitals.

    • Tuberculosis is possible ( but unlikely in previously healthy individuals ), as are less serious chest infections – there may be no symptoms for weeks after return to the UK.

    • Rabies always kills if untreated. Management is different depending on whether or not vaccination has already been given, but should be considered whenever there has been an attack by an animal ( usually a dog ) even if there is no direct evidence the animal had rabies.

    • Signs such as jaundice - which no one would ignore - have many possible causes ( viral hepatitis, malaria, dengue, typhoid ).

    • Likewise, fever is not specific. Malaria and typhoid may take several weeks to “ incubate “ ; hepatitis, rabies, and tuberculosis may be over 6 weeks. There may be other signs, helpful for diagnosis – especially chest and nervous system.

    • “ Common illnesses occur commonly “ ! What would your doctor know about unusual tropical diseases ?

    Most of us will never need it, but the UK has much available expertise. After discussion with local microbiology, virology or infectious disease consultants, the doctor may contact the Imported Fever Service of the Health Protection Agency (
    ), and establishments with international reputations ( London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine ).

    • Advice, diagnosis and treatment is mostly free in the UK - one good reason to be cheerful !

  2. #2
    Respected Member imagine's Avatar
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    good after travel health advice , thanks Doc Alan

  3. #3
    Respected Member tiger31's Avatar
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    may I add a note on insurance policies that cover medical situations .The philippine hospitals don,t all operate like in the U.S for example where you hand over the insurance details and everything will be ok .you have to pay the hospital bills out of your own pocket then claim back from your insurance company .many philippine hospitals have stop dealing with medical insurance companies because they were having trouble getting paid out .so its important to have access to cash in case of an emergancy ie credit card .you will get treated at a lower cost in a public hospital but once you have witnessed the conditions you will understand why its so cheap and are more likely to come out worse than you went in with .it is against the law for a hospital to deny you admittence but they will insist on a deposit up front so just a warning on that note .youtube philippine maternity hospital and you will see example of a public hospital and you will see what i mean.

  4. #4
    Admin's Assistant ^_^ raynaputi's Avatar
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    made this a sticky
    ...When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by raynaputi View Post
    made this a sticky
    Thank you so much Rayna - I hope members will find this helpful over time

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