Good health advice from Marine Lorphelin before going on vacation

Should you consult your doctor before going on vacation? Not necessarily, but I advise you to. It is always a good idea to consult your doctor once a year, and why not do it before going on vacation, to check your general health. He can also prescribe treatments if needed and update vaccinations privately! In particular, the tetanus vaccine that protects you in the event of a dirty wound and which must be repeated regularly.

On the other hand, I strongly urge you to consult if you are pregnant, if you have young children, or if you are on regular medication. Sometimes we receive patients at the last minute because the prescription has expired so think about it!

Is there a medical bag to prepare? There is no point in loading yourself with medication if you go to France as you will always find a pharmacy nearby. But it is true that if you go abroad, I advise you to provide some basic tools and medicines for you and your children: enough to make antiseptic bandages, compresses, scissors, hair removal pliers … in case of pain or fever as well as some remedies in case of digestive disorders such as anti-diarrheals and anti-emetics .

Also consider mosquito repellent, choose a product that is suitable for each member of the family. Finally, even if it seems obvious, don’t forget sunscreen with full UVB protection.

And for a pregnant woman? Does she need to take any special precautions? A pregnant woman should consult her doctor, gynecologist or midwife prior to any extended stay in order to be advised. We know that traveling after 8 months of pregnancy is risky. Furthermore, airlines refuse pregnant women over 36 weeks of menopause. In any case, it is best to avoid traveling abroad, where the risk of infection is higher and to prefer a destination close to your home in case of emergency.

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As for long trips, they are easily complicated, with venous insufficiency with the appearance of edema of the lower extremities, swelling of the legs from excess water, especially in pregnant women and in severe heat. In these cases, compression stockings will be your best ally.

If we go on a trip abroad, how do we know which vaccine to do? You will find lots of practical information about the health risks of the country you are visiting on the Institut Pasteur website. Preventive instructions, high-risk areas, malaria and any vaccinations required to enter certain countries. It is essential to know how to expect these vaccinations which are only made at international vaccination centers while respecting the deadline for injection. The list of centers is available online at

I will give you some examples: the hepatitis A vaccine is generally recommended in countries where hygiene is unstable; The yellow fever vaccine is recommended or even mandatory in some tropical countries in Latin America or Africa, given in a single dose at least 10 days before departure.

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