Reliable travel health knowledge is becoming simpler to find online, but it’s not unusual to see wrong information on travel health forums, blogs, and other sources travellers rely on for trip planning advice. In this edition, you can read about debunking three travel health myths.

Myth #1: Water from the water filters is always safe to drink.

Water filters contain large contaminants such as dirt, protozoan cysts, and bacteria, but viruses can be tiny enough to pass through the filter pores into your drinking water. It’s especially necessary to remove or inactivate viruses such as Hepatitis A in populated areas where sanitation is of poor quality.

If you are purchasing a water filter, choose a high-quality filter and check the packaging to ensure that it is rated to remove the viruses. You can also use another water disinfection method after the water has been filtered. Chlorine and UV light both work excellently to inactivate viruses in clearing the water. When in doubt, boil your water. Boiling the water is the most reliable way to treat drinking water.

Myth #2: A tan is natural sun protection and helps to avoid sunburn.

There is no such thing called a healthy tan, even if you don’t get a sunburn. Tanned skin is damaged skin.

Smart tips on sun protection:

1) Stay in the shade, particularly between 10am-4pm when the sun is at its hottest.

2) If it’s not too hot, wear long-sleeved, lightweight clothing to protect your skin.

3) A hat with a broad brim and good quality sunglasses and will protect your face and eyes.

4) Use a good quality sunscreen and re-apply regularly, especially if you’ve been swimming or sweating.

5) Be super careful about sun protection for children. Kids should wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats while playing outside.

Myth #3: Dryer sheets are a mosquito repellent.

There are many myths out there about preventing mosquito bites. There is no reliable evidence that rubbing dryer sheets on your skin or clothes protect you from the mosquito bites. Choose a proven insect-bite prevention method like wearing a proper insect repellent and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net. If you still find yourself at the risk of getting mosquito-borne diseases, visit travel clinic in Ashtead to get the right preventive treatment beforehand.