IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal

Ecotourism

Around the world: Tick-borne diseases

Ticks on the move Hiking and camping are popular activities for travellers, but make sure you’re prepared to fend off ticks before you go. Ticks are tiny arachnids that feed on blood. They’re often associated with hiking and camping in forested areas, but ticks infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease have been found in city parks in Europe and North America. Thanks to climate change and urban sprawl, ticks are coming into closer contact with humans. Scientists hope that more research on ticks will help limit the spread of tick-borne illnesses (like this research on the black-legged tick’s immune system and this project on how mice contribute to the spread of Lyme in the United States). When ...

Photo of jellyfish by Wopke, Pexels

Stings and bites: Preventing marine injuries

Nothing says ‘vacation’ quite like fun on the water. Beachcombing, swimming, snorkelling, diving, wading, and watersports are common activities that can bring you in contact with marine animals. Skin infections, bites, and stings resulting from contact with marine life are some of the most common injuries affecting travellers to island and coastal destinations.  By some estimates, up to 150 million jellyfish stings occur worldwide every year. When you’re in the water, you can prevent injuries by being informed about local marine life and water conditions. Stings, bites, and punctures from marine animals There are three types of injuries associated with marine animals: Contact toxins – stings caused by jellyfish, coral, sponges, and sea urchins Injected toxins – envenomation caused ...

Everything you need to know about Schistosomiasis

If your next adventure will take you rafting or swimming in fresh water, you should know about Schistosomiasis. What do snails have to do with travel health? You’re familiar with Yellow Fever, Malaria, and Traveller’s Diarrhea, but here’s one travel health risk you may not have heard of: Schistosomiasis. Also known as Bilharzia, Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection transmitted by freshwater snails present in Africa and parts of Southeast Asia, South America, the Middle East, and some Caribbean islands. The culprit is the trematode flatworm parasite that is transmitted by small snails which are difficult to spot on the shores of lakes, rivers, streams and ponds. Coming into brief contact with fresh water contaminated with one of the eight ...

Health Risks Associated with Ecotourism

Booked your eco-adventure trip, check. Packed all your gear, check. But wait a minute, what about health considerations? Many of us don’t consider the health risks associated with ecotourism, including how we impact the health of the animals and communities we encounter abroad. Our guest blogger, Michael Muehlenbein, explains what you need to consider when planning your ecotourism vacation. What is ecotourism? Nature-based tourism accounts for a growing proportion of international tourism activity. Ecotourism is specifically a sustainable version of nature-based tourism that attempts to educate visitors while minimizing modification or degradation of natural resources and broadly benefiting the social and natural environments by involving the participation of local communities. Certainly most activities traditionally considered to be ecotourism-related, like ...