What happens if I become ill on holiday?

May 20th, 2010, 11:58 AM
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What happens if I become ill on holiday?

What happens if I become ill on holiday?What precaution do you take to avoid this ?
rabicamail is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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"What precaution do you take to avoid this ?"

What precautions do you take at home to avoid this?
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 12:03 PM
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Depends on how ill. Usually you go to the nearest pharmacy. If you're sicker, go to the nearest hospital. Don't leave home without medical insurance that covers you abroad and medical evacuation insurance.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 12:04 PM
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You can buy travel insurance to cover most medical conditions, including death and sending body back home.

Some insurance companies cover you as part of their blanket policy. I am retired, so I am covered by Medicare if in US. Outside of US, no coverage, but my secondary insurance, State of NC Teachers Ins. picks up where Medicare does not pay, so they cover me, up to their deductions etc.
jkbritt is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 12:05 PM
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What type of illness are you talking about? Cold, upset stomach, or something more critical.

I'm not sure how you can avoid illness other than to get a medical/dental exam before you leave on vacation and allow enough time to correct any problem.

If it's something minor you can go to a drug store (pharmacy) and ask for some medication or ask your hotel to call a doctor or go to a local hospital.

I don't take any abnormal precautions. I do carry stomach meds (over the counter) - lactaid, immodium, pepto bismal with me.

If the illness is major I'd make sure to go to a good hospital.
adrienne is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 12:09 PM
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First, you need a proper insurance.

Second, go to a physician or a hospital. You will be amazed by the standard of medical care in most European countries (with the exception of UK).

Seriously, I tell you a story. A couple of years ago, we welcomed a couple from Alabama who intended to stay a week with us here in Germany. On arrival, the lady was severely sick. I took her to my physician, who quickly diagnosed a very severe case of pneunomia (there had been a pneunomia epidemic in Alabama).

He prescribed an antibiotic. We cared for her at our home. Her husband negotiated with the airline to postpone the return flight. The doctor did several home calls. After one week, pneumonia has been reduced by 80% and the doctor decided, she was ready for transportation. We ordered wheelchairs at each airport (Düsseldorf and Frankfurt).

Back in Alabama, she went to her physician. He was very impressed that

(a) she has gotten the most powerful antibiotic available,
(b) the antibiotic was dirt cheap compared to prices in the USA (€70),
(c) the German doctor's check was very reasonable (€600, including several X-rays and house calls).

I understand that our friends had a proper insurance which covered all expenses.


Treatment was better than in the U.S.
Treatment was less expensive than in the U.S.
A proper health insurance is mandatory.
Echnaton is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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Do you have health insurance? Call them, ask if they have worldwide emergency coverage. Before you leave, call your doctor if you have any health issues, ask the doc if s/he has any advices.

If not, buy travel insurance - they all include health coverage. Good place to start is InsureMyTrip website to compare different insurances.

You can research at home and have a list of doctors and dentists in the area you will visit - if it makes you feel better.

If you know your hotel - search the closest pharmacy.
Dayenu is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 10:55 AM
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Thank you all for your wise advice .
rabicamail is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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>What happens if I become ill on holiday? <

You will feel terrible.

ira is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 06:27 PM
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Healthcare in europe (with very few exceptions - in small backwaters) is at least as good as you will get in the US. But - unless you have private insurance that covers you abroad you should have a travel insurance policy. (Medicare does NOT cover you abroad.) And you will be expected to pay for your care in many places - which will probably be way less than the US - but can still be a lot if you have a severe problem.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 07:16 PM
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Hi rabicamail,
During our trip to Italy last year I developed an infected tooth and ended up going to the emergency dentist hospital in Rome. Prior to that I went to the local pharmacy and explained my problem. The pharmacist gave me some antibiotics which only cost 3 euros. After I saw the emergency doc I went to the front desk to pay the bill and was told there was no charge. Nice surprise. The two prescriptions the doc prescribed both totaled under 10 euros. Another nice surprise.

When we were leaving Rome a few days later we ran into a woman in an arm cast who explained she had broken her arm, had surgery to repair it and she was charged nothing also.

From what I understand Italy does not charge for medical services but other countries do.

michele_d is offline  
Jun 11th, 2010, 06:54 AM
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Well, the taxpayers of Italy were charged for the emergency room visit and broken arm surgery.
Paul1950 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2010, 07:01 AM
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Anyway, fortunately our health insurance does cover us worldwide, though we've only had 2 episodes of illness or injury in 40+ years of travel.

I got what is most likely food poisoning in Belgium a few years ago. I just "sat" it out in our hotel room for a day and a half while my spouse traipsed around the countryside with no thought of her suffering, devoted husband. I was really upset (no pun intended) as I am a true beer lover and had been looking forward to sampling lots of Belgian beers and visiting several breweries. But I couldn't even stand the thought of a beer--that's how sick I was.

The other was a badly sprained ankle experience in Florence (my wife never again wore sandals while touring). We ended up in a public hospital as we thought it might be broken. They were very nice, determined it wasn't broken and wrapped the ankle. But it was the shabbiest hospital I'd seen since an experience in Korea in 1971. Pretty dingy and not much staff given all the people waiting for treatment. But, as I said, they were very nice. We also didn't pay anything--I feel sorry for the Italian taxpayers.
Paul1950 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2010, 07:21 AM
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Catching a cold while traveling is fairly common, due to being a little run down. I always carry some Zicam and or Airborne with me, and try to do at least one 'dose' while in flight. I really believe these two over the counter cold preventers do help. Don't let yourself get too run down, and if possible try to avoid being close to someone coughing and sneezing on the plane.
zootsi is offline  
Jun 11th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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Of course Airborne had to pay some huge fines for false claims. But the placebo effect is a real phenomenon.

According to the CSPI, “There’s no credible evidence that what’s in Airborne can prevent colds or protect you from a germy environment. Airborne is basically on overpriced, run-of-the-mill vitamin pill that’s been cleverly, but deceptively, marketed.”
Paul1950 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2010, 11:03 AM
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Paul1950....you should have gone to a private hospital in Florence. US insurance covers it and they're much better. Public hospitals are shabby.

Cold EZ is excellent. I have had a wicked sore throat that I knew was going to be something horrible. I started on the Cold EZ and it stopped it. I've used it many times and it works very well. It's zinc and my doctors recommend it. My husband doesn't believe in anything like that is now a true believer. We've kept colds away for years with it.
Ann1 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2010, 05:56 PM
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Yes, Airborne had some lawsuits because of unproven claims. When I feel a cold coming on, I take an Airborne, and Zicam oral spray or Cold Ez. Airbone is basically a massive dose of vitamin c, along with some zinc and homeopathic herbs. There isn't much science behind it's claims. However, I DO think it helps ward off colds. Zicam and Cold Ez on the other hand are basically zinc gluconate, which does have some scientific evidence of suppressing cold viruses. I'm certain that the number of bad colds my wife and I have had since taking these regimens has gone way down. Don't know which of the three is the most effective, but they're inexpensive and harmless. Definitely not a placebo effect.
zootsi is offline  
Jun 13th, 2010, 06:00 PM
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The same thing that happens when you get ill anywhere. You feel like crap and you go get treatment.

I haven't been sick in 30+ years (knock on wood), but I do have travel insurance and have complete faith in the healthcare systems of Western Europe - not so sure about elsewhere.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 14th, 2010, 05:21 AM
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Ann1--too late for me to return to Italy and go to a private hospital now.

By the way, it's natural as you get older to have fewer colds.
Paul1950 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 05:35 AM
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When we travel we always take a probiotic every day to keep immune system strong and to help with change of water in other countries. Seems to work for us and always take some echinacea drops with us too and maybe some zinc tabs in case of sore throats from recycled air in plane.
cornelius01 is offline  

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