DAN Medics and Re­searchers an­swer your ques­tions about dive medicine

Scuba Diver Australasia - - Research, Education & Medicine -

My wife and I love to travel to ex­otic des­ti­na­tions, and my pre­vi­ous doc­tor used to give me an­tibi­otics in case I got sick in a re­mote lo­ca­tion. I have a new pri­mary care physi­cian who is hes­i­tant to do this. What does DAN rec­om­mend?

For some time now, pre­scrib­ing guide­lines re­gard­ing an­tibi­otic use for var­i­ous con­di­tions have favoured a much more con­ser­va­tive ap­proach due to in­creas­ing an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance. Many ill­nesses are vi­ral in na­ture, and an­tibi­otics are of no ben­e­fit in these cases. If you fall ill while trav­el­ling, a lo­cal physi­cian is your best re­source; he or she will be aware of the com­mon pathogens that cause prob­lems in the area you are vis­it­ing.

When trav­el­ling, your best de­fenses against ill­ness are hand­wash­ing, care­ful sourc­ing of wa­ter and food, get­ting rel­e­vant travel im­mu­ni­sa­tions, and tak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate pre­cau­tions in ar­eas where mos­qui­toes and other liv­ing or­gan­isms can trans­mit in­fec­tious dis­eases to hu­mans. Talk to your doc­tor or visit a travel medicine clinic if you will be go­ing to a re­gion in which med­i­cal care is lack­ing. The doc­tor can ad­vise you on any med­i­ca­tions you should take with you and when to use them.

Lately, I feel like I’m get­ting sun­burned much more eas­ily than I used to. I am tak­ing a new med­i­ca­tion; is there any chance that could be the cause?

Sun­shine is a wel­come ad­di­tion to just about any day spent out­doors. For many peo­ple, a hat, a T-shirt and some sun­screen are suf­fi­cient to limit the neg­a­tive ef­fects of sun ex­po­sure. How­ever, cer­tain med­i­ca­tions can make peo­ple more sen­si­tive to the sun’s ul­travi­o­let

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