Your big trip oversees carries risks. Don’t let these health threats derail your adventure

Vietnam

Threat

Dengue Fever: a potentially fatal viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes

Danger zones

Tropical and subtropical regions

Prevent it

Wear protective clothing, use mosquito repellent, and sleep in a screened or air conditioned room. If you come down with a high fever and suspect dengue, see a doctor. And avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and other NSAIDs, which can cause bleeding.

Mexico

Threat

Diarrhea: bowel woes brought on by contaminated food or water

Danger zones

Pretty much anywhere; diarrhea strikes as many as half of international travelers, according to the US Centre for Disease Control.

Prevent it

Steer clear of tap water, ice, undercooked meat, salads and unpeeled raw vegetables and fruit. Just in case, pack an OTC diarrhea remedy, such as Imodium A-D (loperamide), to treat the trots.

Mozambique

Threat

Bilharzia: a parasitic disease from freshwater worms that enter your body and produce eggs, which travel to your internal organs.

Danger zones

Your risk is highest in southern and sub-Saharan Africa, but you’re also exposed in areas of the Middle East, Asia, and South America.

Prevent it

Don’t drink from or wade, swim or bathe in bodies of freshwater, such as rivers, lakes and streams.

India

Threat

Malaria: a potentially fatal illness carried by mosquitoes that tend to bite from dusk to dawn

Danger zones

Africa, Central America, South America, and parts of Asia, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe

Prevent it

Preventive drugs vary; talk to your doctor before traveling, and check the CDC’s list of malaria meds. Once abroad, protect yourself against mosquito bites.

France

Threat

Measles: a highly contagious virus causing high fever, runny nose, watery eyes, and a rash

Danger zones

Worldwide, but almost half of Americans who contracted it abroad last year acquired in Europe (especially France).

Prevent it

Make sure your vaccines are current. European nations often don’t enforce childhood immunisation requirements as stringently as South Africa does.

Brazil

Threat

Yellow fever: a mosquito-borne virus that can be fatal

Danger zones

Sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America

Prevent it

Do some research to check the to see if your destination is a high-risk area. If it is, consider a vaccine before you go (some countries require one – check your visa requirements a). And protect yourself against mosquito bites just as you would for malaria or dengue fever.