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Tips to Cut SARS Risks(16/04/2003)
2004-03-09 13:47

A leading medical expert has issued a list of tips for travellers. The advice on how to stay healthy and cut the risk of contracting severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) comes in the wake of the worldwide scare the disease has triggered.

Zeng Guang, a leading researcher with the Beijing-based Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said there were some elementary precautions people should take, the People's Daily reported. But his advice was not only confined to the risks posed following the outbreak of SARS, or atypical pneumonia, but for travellers in general. Travel ordinarily upsets a person's normal life rhythms and by creating more opportunities for contact with strangers, makes them more susceptible to diseases.

Keep warm and eat balanced foods to bolster the body's natural immunity.

Do more outdoor activities, preferably in the countryside or by the sea, cut short time spent in crowded areas and avoid excessive physical exertion.

Wash hands often to prevent the spread of germs, particularly those causing stomach upsets. Hands should be washed immediately after coughing and sneezing, and be dried with clean towels or tissues. When staying in hotels, tourists should use their own articles for face-washing and mouth-rinsing.

Keep away from wild birds and animals. Many instances of disease are known to have been transmitted by birds and animals.

Open a window for a while every night before going to sleep to maintain a fresh indoor circulation of air.

Cut any journey or travel plans if you or your travelling companions begin to show signs of any of the following - fever, coughing, diarrhoea or shortness of breath. Avoid contact with others if you have any of these symptoms and seek immediate medical help.

Be frugal with the amount of medicines taken for everyday illnesses, such as colds, coughs and upset stomach when travelling. Do not abuse antibiotics by taking them for non-serious complaints.

A gauze mask is necessary only when the traveller himself, or a companion of his or hers, has begun to show some abnormal symptoms.

Some good health travel guides are recommended, and can be of a great help when professional medical help is not at hand.

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