Travel concerns: What to know before you go - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Travel concerns: What to know before you go

"Frequent hand washing will reduce your risk dramatically," said Dr. Shoemaker. "Frequent hand washing will reduce your risk dramatically," said Dr. Shoemaker.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Everyday germs, exotic illnesses, accidents: Would they stop you from taking a trip?

Seasoned travelers like Lane Thomasson say they shouldn't. 

From Wyoming, to Italy, and beyond she has seen it all. She's even lived in Europe.

"Experiencing different cultures and attitudes is really a true gift," said Thomasson. "For the most part it's very safe," said Thomasson.

Let's talk about germs first. We went to infectious disease specialist Dr. Matt Shoemaker for advice on travel near and far.

"Start planning early," said Shoemaker.

Let's say you're staying close to the Heartland, and traveling by car. Would you believe a recent study found gas pumps may be the dirtiest surfaces we touch while on the go?

Not far behind: escalator rails, ATM Buttons, parking meters, and crosswalk buttons.

Dr. Shoemaker says the solution is simple.

"Frequent hand washing will reduce your risk dramatically," said Dr. Shoemaker.

If you're not a hand washer, consider this: Dr. Shoemaker says many sicknesses actually start by accidentally swallowing feces that likely somehow came in contact with your hands. He says anti-bacterial soap and sanitizer is key.  

As for planes, trains, and automobiles: Did you know it's true you can catch tuberculosis on a plane? Again, Dr. Shoemaker says there's an easy solution.

"Practice good cough hygiene," said Dr. Shoemaker. "Be sure to cough into your elbow and wash your hands."  

If you're traveling to under-developed countries like Haiti, or Africa start planning six months in advance.

"See your doctor," said Dr. Shoemaker. "You will need pills and vaccinations. You need to know what diseases are there and what you may be prone to. You should only eat well cooked food that's been washed and peeled. Don't drink the tap water and avoid the ice."

In fact, the beer is safer.

"The alcohol should be ok," said Dr. Shoemaker.

Now this may be the biggest surprise: "Auto-accidents account for 1/4 of deaths in Americans abroad."

We took that stat back to Thomasson, who admits public transportation and foreign drivers in places she's lived like London and Paris can be scary. She says just wear your seat belt.

"It's such a rare occurrence," said Thomasson.

She says she would not give up her adventures for anything, but is always happy to come back to the Heartland.

"There's no place like home.

Dr. Shoemaker recommends checking out www.cdc.gov for more information.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Poplar Bluff, MO students segue into summer with career ideas

    Poplar Bluff, MO students segue into summer with career ideas

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 10:51 PM EDT2018-05-23 02:51:04 GMT
    At a time when most students are ready for summer, some Poplar Bluff kids are getting ready for their futures. (Source: Nathan Ellgren, KFVS)At a time when most students are ready for summer, some Poplar Bluff kids are getting ready for their futures. (Source: Nathan Ellgren, KFVS)

    At a time when most students are ready for summer, some Poplar Bluff kids are getting ready for their futures.

    At a time when most students are ready for summer, some Poplar Bluff kids are getting ready for their futures.

  • Are levees hurting Missouri Wildlife

    Are levees hurting Missouri Wildlife

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 10:45 PM EDT2018-05-23 02:45:24 GMT
    (Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)(Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)
    (Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)(Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)
    While levees and dams protect where we live from flooding, is there a negative impact on the environment and wildlife we live near. Southeast Missouri looked a lot different before the diversion channel was constructed. This region was all swamp lands back then and you almost all the homes were built on ridges. Now that channel allows us to live and farm that former swampland because the channel diverts the water to the Mississippi River. But for the land and wildlife, th...
    While levees and dams protect where we live from flooding, is there a negative impact on the environment and wildlife we live near. Southeast Missouri looked a lot different before the diversion channel was constructed. This region was all swamp lands back then and you almost all the homes were built on ridges. Now that channel allows us to live and farm that former swampland because the channel diverts the water to the Mississippi River. But for the land and wildlife, th...
  • Spray paint artist adds mural to downtown Sikeston, MO

    Spray paint artist adds mural to downtown Sikeston, MO

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 10:18 PM EDT2018-05-23 02:18:41 GMT
    A mural made with spray paint is being created on Center Street in Downtown Sikeston. The design will include a welcome sign, and several other notables images that symbolize the city.A mural made with spray paint is being created on Center Street in Downtown Sikeston. The design will include a welcome sign, and several other notables images that symbolize the city.
    A mural made with spray paint is being created on Center Street in Downtown Sikeston. The design will include a welcome sign, and several other notables images that symbolize the city.A mural made with spray paint is being created on Center Street in Downtown Sikeston. The design will include a welcome sign, and several other notables images that symbolize the city.

    Fresh coats of spray paint have appeared on a building in downtown Sikeston, but it's not what you think. 

    Fresh coats of spray paint have appeared on a building in downtown Sikeston, but it's not what you think. 

Powered by Frankly