Staying Healthy on Bermuda

Preparing for the possibility of health and medical problems will leave you feeling secure on Bermuda

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Health and medical considerations should be taken seriously when traveling to any destination.

Obtaining travel insurance and researching medical warnings and general precautions before you go will ensure peace of mind during your visit to Bermuda. Should any health or medical issue arise while you are vacationing, you will be glad you tended to these details ahead of time.

Traveler's Insurance

Although most insurance companies (Medicare/Medicaid and certain HMOs excepted) will provide some kind of coverage should you need medical care abroad, be sure to investigate your insurance coverage before your trip. A high deductible or "out-of-network" cost could make the purchase of traveler's insurance worthwhile. Further, hospitals frequently require up-front payment from tourists to prevent them from leaving the country without paying for medical care. Traveler's insurance is relatively inexpensive and usually provides thorough coverage and assistance. Additionally, most traveler's insurance will bear the cost of an emergency evacuation should it become necessary.

General Precautions

It's wise to adhere to certain general precautions when traveling. If you take prescription medication, it's especially crucial that you keep in mind the following rules to prevent problems once you arrive on Bermuda. Although these rules are not laws, observing them can help to prevent potentially difficult situations.

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  • Be aware the U.S. prescriptions are not honored on Bermuda.  If you need to have a prescription refilled while you are on the island, you will need to see a local doctor and have him write you a new prescription;

  • Carry all medications in their original, properly labeled containers.  Avoid bringing the popular "Day of the Week" pill boxes, because they may be confiscated due to improper labeling;

  • Bring copies of prescriptions signed by your physician and include a note detailing why you need the medication;

  • Be sure to note any pre-existing conditions or allergies by wearing a medical alert bracelet or by keeping this information in your wallet near your ID;

  • Carry emergency contact information with you at all times, especially if you are traveling alone; keep this information in your wallet near your ID;

  • Check with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (http://www.cdc.gov) before departing for your trip to ensure there are no recommended vaccinations.

Common Problems

Certain problems are relatively common when visiting Bermuda and can be easily dealt with if you are prepared. In the case of sea sickness, over-the-counter medications are available throughout the region. Simply ask a store clerk for a recommendation before heading to the high seas.

Seasoned travelers would recommend that you bring a small travel medical kit with you during your travels.  This kit should include the following items:

  • Painkillers, including acetaminophen, aprin, and ibuprofen;
  • Antihistamines;
  • Antacids;
  • Topical disinfectant;
  • Rubbing alcohol;
  • Bandages;
  • Thermometer.

Although sun is one of main attractions of this lovely island, it can also be dangerous. Drink a lot of water and wear sunscreen to prevent heat exhaustion and stroke, dehydration, and painful sunburn. Since the sun is strongest between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., it's advisable to limit or avoid exposure during this time. In all cases, if you develop a fever or chills, or if the symptoms of sunburn do not dissipate or ameliorate within a day or two, contact a doctor.

Also, be aware that there are diseases that can occur in the Caribbean islands that may not be as common back in your hometown.  These may include malaria, leptospirosis, and endemic foci of histoplasmosis.  As aforementioned, check with the CDC before your travels to determine which illnesses you should be aware of before you travel to Bermuda.

Traveling with the proper knowledge and preparadeness regarding medical conditions and laws on Bermuda will go a long way in ensuring that your health and wellbeing is properly taken care of.  Arrive prepared to handle any situation, and emergencies will seem much less frightening.

 

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