Top illnesses of British travellers revealed

An online flight comparison company has discovered the top illnesses and injuries that British travellers have encountered on their holidays where they've had to seek medical assistance.

According to the poll, travellers most typically seek first aid for heat stroke, flesh wounds and sickness and diarrhoea.

Over two thirds of British travellers admit that they have had to seek medical attention for heat stroke, as new research reveals the most common causes for Britons too seek help for health problems while abroad.

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Others have experienced flesh wounds while in the water or walking around barefoot, and others have come down with sickness and diarrhoea from drinking local water and getting food poisoning.

The team at undertook the survey as part of an ongoing study into Britons experiences abroad whilst on their holidays. 2,381 Britons aged 18 and over, all of whom stated that they have been abroad at least once in the past two years, were quizzed about their holidays and if they had experienced any illnesses or injuries.

Initially all respondents were asked ‘During your holidays, have you either come down ill or picked up an injury?’ to which 55% of respondents stated that ‘yes’ they have, and the remaining 45% stated ‘no’. Those who stated ‘yes’ were then asked if they’d had to seek medical attention or first aid for said illness or injury, to which three fifths of respondents (61%) admitted that ‘yes’ they had.

Wanting to delve a little deeper, all relevant respondents were then asked what illnesses or injuries that they had encountered throughout their holidays that led them to seek medical attention.

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When provided with a list of possible responses and told to select all that applied, the top five responses were as follows:

1. Heat stroke – 67%

2. Flesh wounds – 55%

3. Sickness and diarrhoea – 32%

4. Broken bones – 11%

5. Malaria – 4%

According to the poll, when asked how flesh wounds had occurred, the top responses were ‘walking around bare foot, either in the resort, on the beach or on the streets’ (39%) and ‘stepping on sharp something in a pool / the sea’ (28%). Furthermore, when asked how respondents suspected their sickness and diarrhoea came from, the top responses were ‘drinking local water’ (40%) and ‘food poisoning’ (21%).

Wanting to determine if these were the types of illnesses and injuries that other Europeans were most likely to have encountered too, the survey polled 1,000 Europeans (a 25% split across Italy, Spain, Germany and France) asking them to also state what illnesses they had encountered. When provided with the same list of possible responses and told to select all that applied, the most common holiday illness for Europeans were as follows:

· Italy – Sickness and diarrhoea (37%)

· Germany – Flesh wounds (30%)

· Spain – Sickness and diarrhoea (29%)

· France – Heat stroke (25%)

A spokesperson for commented: “It’s always a good idea to seek medical assistance when you’re abroad and find yourself ill or injured, but that being said there needs to be a level of common sense involved. For starters, it’s easy to prevent heat stroke by wearing a hat, staying out of direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day, and staying hydrated, and you’re highly likely going to reduce the chance of flesh wounds by walking around with adequate footwear on.”

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