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Common Ailments

Lyme Disease -- Maryland and Delaware don't pose any unusual health risks to the average visitor. If you're hiking or camping, be aware that this is deer-tick country, and deer ticks can carry Lyme disease. Wear long sleeves and pants tucked into your socks, cover your head, and inspect yourself for ticks later. Insect repellent containing DEET also helps repel ticks. After your trip, watch for a bull's-eye-shaped rash that can appear 3 days to a month following infection (but be aware that not everyone who is infected will get the rash). There is now a vaccine available for Lyme disease; consult your doctor if you're planning to take an extensive trip to deer tick-infested areas.

Respiratory Illnesses -- Baltimore's air quality can be hard on a person suffering from asthma or other lung ailments, especially in the hot, humid summer. Weather reports provide alerts whenever the air quality index is so poor that people are advised to stay inside.

Sun Exposure -- Visitors should keep applying sunscreen and wear a hat whenever outside as they would at home. This is especially important near the water, where cool breezes or cloudy skies can lull visitors into believing the sun isn't strong.

What to Do If You Get Sick Away from Home

If you face a life-threatening illness, call tel. 911 anywhere in Maryland. Every hospital has an emergency room whose staff won't turn anyone away. Bring your health insurance card, if you have one.

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If you suffer from a chronic illness, consult your doctor before your departure. Pack prescription medications in your carry-on luggage, and carry them in their original containers, with pharmacy labels -- otherwise they won't make it through airport security. Visitors from outside the U.S. should carry generic names of prescription drugs. For U.S. travelers, most reliable healthcare plans provide coverage if you get sick away from home. Foreign visitors may have to pay medical costs upfront and be reimbursed later.

Safety

While most of Maryland enjoys relatively low crime rates, Baltimore has a nagging problem with property and violent crime. The major tourist areas of both cities are fairly well policed, but be alert and follow common-sense precautions.

If you're using public transport, it's best to travel during the day and to keep valuables out of sight. It is safer and smarter to drive or take a cab between neighborhoods (unless otherwise noted) than to walk, even when the distance is not too great. Keep a good city map at hand to help you out if you're lost. Neighborhoods can go from safe to scary in a matter of a few blocks. It's best to keep on the main routes and turn around if anything looks worrisome.

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.