International travel and health

Environmental health risks

Travellers often experience abrupt and dramatic changes in environmental conditions, which may have detrimental effects on health and well-being. Travel may involve major changes in altitude, temperature and humidity, and exposure to microbes, animals and insects. The negative impact of sudden changes in the environment can be minimized by taking simple precautions.

  • Altitude
  • Heat and humidity
  • Ultraviolet radiation from the sun
  • Foodborne and waterborne health risks
  • Travellers’ diarrhoea
  • Recreational waters
  • Animals and insects
  • Intestinal parasites: risks for travellers
  • Summary of practical measures for food and water hygiene and for avoidance of insect bites