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World Cup Guide: How to Stay Healthy in Russia

The FIFA World Cup is right around the corner, and soccer fans are gearing up for their pilgrimage to Russia. In general, travel means doing your due diligence, taking basic safety precautions and learning how to stay safe and healthy in all parts of the world.

But traveling during World Cup season imposes extra demands, and tourists should know how to protect their health while in Russia.

Here are some basic health tips that can help you during the World Cup in Russia.

Make Sure That Your Vaccinations Are in Order

There are all kinds of diseases that can affect you in Russia, and it’s important to make sure you’re up to date with your travel vaccinations.

Your basics are getting your Tetanus shot, getting vaccinated for Diphtheria, Typhoid, getting vaccinated for Hepatitis A and for Hepatitis B.

It might also be a good idea to get a vaccination for Tickborne Encephalitis since the World Cup takes place in June.

What other risks might travelers face in Russia?

Safety on the Roads

Russia has notoriously unsafe driving conditions, with many Russians being extremely aggressive drivers.

Driving itself is a very dangerous enterprise, but even pedestrians should watch out–note that, unlike the United States, pedestrians in Russia do NOT have right of way.

In fact, in Russia, drivers are prone to swerving onto the curb in order to get around traffic. Be vigilant at all times and don’t move around absentmindedly.

Disease Risks in Russia

Though it’s common to joke about not drinking a country’s water, this can actually be true. In Russia, watch out not only for tap water, but also for ice cubes that might be put in drinks. It’s a good idea to shy away from street vendors as well.

Given the state of Russia’s healthcare, it would be ill-advised to put yourself in the position of having to stay the night at a Russian hospital.

More serious disease risks for those who engage in sexual activity while traveling include HIV/AIDs. Travelers who do decide to engage in sexual activity with strangers they meet are strongly, strongly advised to wear a condom.

It’s an unfortunate fact, but prostitution is a reality in Russia as in many countries of the world, and HIV is a huge risk. For more than ethical and legal reasons, travelers are advised not to use the services of a prostitute.

Watching out for Heat

We don’t usually associate Russia with heat, but Russia can reach nearly 100 degrees in the summer.

Since the World Cup is right in the midst of summer, travelers are advised to bring sun hats, sunglasses and most of all, sunscreen–the usual tools to protect themselves from the sun’s rays.

Moreover, make sure to bring light and long sleeved clothing and, as always, try to stay out of the sun if you can help it.

Altitude Sickness

If travelers to the World Cup find themselves also engaging in more outdoorsy activities, they might find themselves hiking or traveling into the wilderness in general.

Many of Russia’s mountains have extremely high altitudes, and travelers are advised to consider altitude sickness they might encounter if they do hike up a mountain.

Russian Hospitals and Clinics

In the case of medical emergencies, travelers should dial 103 from a landline or 112 from a mobile phone in order to get an ambulance.

Quality of care can be extremely shaky in hospitals that aren’t in major cities, but private clinics can be extremely expensive and may not take medical insurance.

Therefore travelers are advised to use the Russian healthcare system at their own risk and to try and take care of their help with preventative measures where possible.

Headed to the World Cup and need more travel information? Contact Capital Medical Associates in Washington DC today to schedule an appointment.

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