The idea of adventures and travel is very intriguing. While a lot of us enjoy it and look forward to it impatiently, we often tend to forget the well being aspect and make ourselves susceptive to illness.
But since “prevention is better than cure”, here are some simple things that we can remember while traveling.
- Fill up the bottle from home/hotel where the source of it is reliable.
- Buying water bottles from reputable brands that were properly treated and packaged can be another option as well.
- Carbonated drinks come in many forms: cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles. They’re usually safe for drinking but nevertheless, it’s always a good thing to check out the packaging properly before having them.
- Hot Coffee and Tea are boiled during preparation. So they’re safe for drinking usually.
- It’s generally a good rule to avoid spiking drinks with ice if the source of it is not confirmed.
“What to eat” and “what not to eat”
Keeping in mind some of the basic principles of food hygiene, here is a sample list of what you could eat and what you should preferable avoid when travelling.
What to eat:
- hot beverages; including tea and coffee
- food that was prepared through heat
- canned or bottled beverages from reputable brands
- dairy products: butter, cheese from reputable brands
- vegetables and fruits that are peeled and cleaned by you
- dry bread
What to avoid:
- water from unconfirmed source; such as directly from a tap
- fountain drinks
- salads made with uncooked vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables
- sweet dishes with custard or cream
- golas/ popsicles/ flavored ice
- cold cuts (meat and fish – even if it was previously boiled)
- raw or undercooked meat/eggs
- reheated food
- sauces and dips that are made with fresh uncooked ingredients
- street foods that were not properly boiled (5 minutes at least)
- fruits that were pre-cleaned
In case you do fall ill …
If despite your best efforts you end up falling ill, find yourself having an upset tummy, don’t panic. Diarrhea is “self-limited” as in; it will resolve itself in a few days. In the meantime,
- Stay hydrated. It’s essential that you drink water and fill the fluid that you lose. You can also drink “Oral Rehydration Solution” (ORS).
- In the unlikely event of ORS not being available, you can mix one level teaspoon of salt and six teaspoons of sugar in a liter of purified water.
If it’s a child who has fallen ill and is showing symptoms of dehydration (i.e. the child seems irritable, restless, is very thirsty, eyes seems sunken, skin has lost some of its elasticity), seek medical help immediately. Also if the condition lasts more than three days, and despite taking all the aforementioned advices, your stool still appears as watery, then take medical assistance as soon as possible.
According to the World Health Organization, if there is no medical assistance available, opt for a 3-day course of ciprofloxacin (adults: 500 mg, twice a day; children: 15mg/kg twice a day). Medicines that stop bowel movement are usually not recommended