Monday, July 21, 2008

Backpacker Hospitalised by Food Poisoning

Emma Lunn had to call upon her travel insurance while backpacking alone in South Africa. She unfortunately became ill whilst on holiday, ending up in hospital being tested for malaria.

“After all, I was a single woman backpacking around a partially third-world country which plays host to a collection of killer animals and deadly diseases; what could possibly go wrong?”
Emma Lunn

Emma's interesting read can be found here and whilst unfortunate, it is noted that her experience is not uncommon. Further benefits of obtaining backpacker travel insurance are substantiated by Esure reporting that 2.8 million British holidaymakers incurred injuries whilst enjoying activities on holiday.

Hospital tests for Emma were returned free from malaria. In fact, it turned out to be a severe case of food poisoning. Only recently, food poisoning was reported as the most frequently arising holiday illness, in a survey by Halifax Travel Insurance.

With more backpackers making their insurance arrangements independently, it now outweighs the number of people who secure their insurance via the (traditionally expensive), package holiday route. This raises the issue regarding comprehensiveness of cover, as selected (or not) by the individual.

“According to AXA, growing numbers of ‘independent' holidaymakers are leaving themselves potentially exposed by buying a standard product.”
Whilst this concern is valid for more unusual holiday excursions, thankfully any medical care required from severe food poisoning will likely be covered within all activated policies.

On a practical note, backpackers and travellers of all shades should take the following steps in the event of suspecting food poisoning:

  • Use separate towels to anyone suspected of having food poisoning.
  • Wash hands regularly after contact with the infected person.
  • Contact a doctor if the sufferer is a baby or elderly person.
  • Use disinfectant on shared contact areas such as doors and taps.
  • Combat dehydration from food poisoning by drinking lots of water.

Related Articles:

  1. Medical Travel Insurance

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