Half of British holidaymakers suffer insect bites

Insect bites top the league of holiday ailments suffered by ill-prepared Brits, a study has revealed. By Jonathan Masterson.

The ‘Holiday Health report’, commissioned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPGB), reveals that a significant majority of travellers have their dream vacation turn into a holiday from hell, simply because they have not packed basic first-aid items to deal with common ailments.

44% of those questioned had suffered from insect bites whilst on holiday. Diarrhoea, which afflicts 40% of holidaymakers, is the second most common complaint, and sunburn closely follows in third.

The research also shows that of the Britons who travelled to countries where tropical diseases are prevalent, half suffered illness or infection. One in 9 say they do not bother to take even basic health essentials, such as insect repellant or water purification tablets, with them on holiday.

The RPSGB is encouraging people to avoid risking their health abroad by visiting their local pharmacy for a free consultation before they leave the UK.

Heidi Wright, head of practice at the RPSGB, said: ‘It is important people stock up on health essentials before embarking on their summer holidays. Pharmacists are medicines experts and are ideally placed to help fulfil holiday health needs.’

The YouGov research included 1,980 adults.

GPLetters@haymarket.com

  • Should holidaymakers consult pharmacists more before travel?

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