Thinking of traveling to a developing country this year? Here are some important facts that could save you from becoming ill on your trip.
Contaminated water is always a concern when traveling to developing countries. Water treatment could be inadequate and the tap water may have bacteria, parasites and viruses that could make you ill. Brushing your teeth, consuming ice, or having drinks made with tap water should be avoided in these places.
Drinks That Are Safe
When traveling to countries where this is a concern, factory sealed, unopened carbonated drinks, pasteurized drinks and alcoholic beverages can be considered safe. A good tip is to use straws when drinking from a can or bottle as the outside of the container can be contaminated. Coffee and tea can be considered safe as they are made from boiling water as well as commercially bottled water in an unopened, factory sealed bottle.
Drinks To Avoid
Drinks that should be avoided are fountain drinks (can be mixed with tap water), iced tea and coffee and fruit drinks made with tap water. Fresh fruit juices are also not a good plan as you don’t know if the fruit was cleaned properly or if the juicer washed their hands! Tap water should not be used to clean contact lenses. Follow the specific contact lens cleaning and storage guidelines from your eye care professional and the solution manufacturer.
For up to date advice on eating, drinking and water treatment methods as well as the most common illnesses among travelers go to: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/food-water.
Vaccinations Before Travel
Don’t forget to visit your local travel clinic for recommendations on vaccinations specific to your destination.
For a list of travel clinics, go to: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/yf-fj/index-eng.php.
You can also find out what is recommended for you depending on your age depending, your specific travel location, and get the local conditions before you travel. Preventing disease through vaccination is a lifelong process. at: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/vaccines.
We recommend you consulting a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Sharon a Registered Nurse with a Certificate in Travel Health © who lives in Bridgenorth with her family. Counseling travelers is her day job, traveling is her passion!