Stay Healthy when travelling

In February 2015, on my first trip to Ethiopia, I got a bad case of Altitude sickness or fever. All i remember was the sweating.I sweat a whole 10 liter bucket i swear. My joints in my arms were extremely painful. I had the following symptoms: Sweating Chills and shivering, Headache, Muscle aches, Loss of appetite, Irritability, Dehydration and I was general very weak. I was admitted at the UN Health center in Addis Abbaba for 2 days as I couldn’t do anything.
Now there is a whole story regarding my getting sick but id rather not share the details. Lets just stay my stay at the fancy Capital Spa hotel in Addis Abbaba was less than eventful.

Don’t want to lose half your vacation to an illness? The best remedy for travel sicknesses is prevention. To that end, here are a few tips ways to get sick while travelling; avoid them and you will feel like a champ on your next trip.Normally i never read travel advisory notes but after this attack, i took a keen interest in travel advisory notes. That got me to a new world of hygiene and health when travelling. The best tips can be found at

Tap Water: Most tap water is perfectly fine to drink—if you are a local. For travelers, however, the bacteria found in tap water around the world varies considerably, and your own belly biome may not stand up well to the local bacteria, even if you like the locals themselves. The best approach here is to buy and drink bottled water only; in most cases bottled water has been filtered sufficiently not to cause trouble even for weaker stomachs. Beware, however, establishments that reuse old water bottles by refilling them at the tap. You will want to open your new water bottle yourself to be sure. And don’t forget that ice cubes are typically made from tap water; this is an easy one to forget. Unless you know the ice was made with bottled or disinfected water, skip it.

Airplanes Seatback Pockets: Airplanes are notoriously filthy, and they’re cleaned far less frequently than you might think; certainly there is no deep cleaning going on during the short period of deboarding and reboarding that goes on at most airline gates. While I do recommend checking out the emergency information at the beginning of your flight, avoid too much rummaging around in the seat-back pocket if you can help it.

The same goes for pretty much all surfaces on the plane (and in the airport waiting areas and bathrooms, etc.), but the seat-back pockets seem to be particularly troublesome areas. Some travelers immediately come and wipe down everything around their seat with an alcohol wipe, which may be going overboard a bit, but it sure can’t hurt. If that isn’t your style, try to keep your hands away from your face until you have had a chance to clean up after your flight.

Drink from Unclean or Unwrapped Glasses in Hotel Rooms: By now most folks have seen the hotel sanitation exposes where the cleaning staff merely wipes out a used glass with a towel, or, even worse, sprays some kind of cleaning agent in a glass, wipes it with a dirty rag and puts it back on the counter. Germs, chemicals, leftover toothpaste; none of these are good for you. The rule of thumb here: If the glass is not wrapped in a sealed plastic bag, wash it yourself using very hot water, or simply don’t use it.

Hydration: Your body needs water to do pretty much everything, and hydration only gets more important when you are tired, run down and under siege by unfamiliar germs. Dehydration not only makes you more vulnerable to invading bugs (sometimes in unexpected ways, as described in Avoiding the Airplane Cold), but also makes it harder for you to recover once infected in some way. Some of the other tips here are open to interpretation and may vary greatly by destination and by the individual traveler as well, but this one is lot less negotiable.Keep in mind that drinks like alcohol and coffee don’t really count as good choices for hydration. They are not terrible—the hydration effect of coffee is a net positive, for example—but they aren’t going to get the job done well under tough conditions.

Eating at deserted restaurants and hang out spots: Spoiled or tainted food can cripple travelers for a few days, or worse; a good indicator of the freshness and edibility at any given restaurant is how many people are eating there and how many of them are locals. Establishments favored by the hordes and by the locals are less likely to have a reputation for tainted food. Even if the flora differs a bit from that at home, the fact that heaps of folks are eating the food is almost always a good sign (and high turnover means the food is probably fresher too).

Sleep: Along with hydration, sleep is your most effective weapon against becoming ill or fighting it off once you are already infected; in fact, sleep and hydration together are your best tools both for prevention and recovery from illness on the road. Don’t shortchange yourself on shuteye.

Boiled Food: This is an old traveler’s standby; when in doubt, eat only food that is either boiled or peeled. Germs will be killed off pretty much universally by boiling, and germs can’t get into food that has a peelable skin in most cases.

Bring along your prescriptions: If you have go-to medications when you get ill—or, even more critically, have prescription medications you need—you will want to bring them on your trip so you have the right medication at the right time. When traveling abroad, buying something even as simple as DayQuil can be difficult, as language barriers, availability and even different formulas in different parts of the world can make it tricky to know exactly what you’re buying. A lot of folks have remedies that just seem to work best for them, and if this is the case, bring them from home.

Hand Sanitizes: I am not a fan of constantly pouring hand sanitizes every time your hand touches something new, but while overseas there are different bugs all around you, so this can help. I recommend you pick and choose when to use these—on airplanes, in questionable restrooms, after your kids go in a McDonald’s playground, that kind of thing—and otherwise don’t worry about it all the time. You don’t need your hands to be as clean as an operating room—just clean enough not to wreck your trip.

Strong Immune System: Most cases of traveler’s tummy are caused by strong or unfamiliar bacteria, and the cure for a bacterial infection is to take an antibiotic. You might think to let your body fight off the bacteria for a while, and only if you don’t recover quickly to go see a doctor, but it may be better to get to a doctor more quickly so you don’t give the bacteria time to thrive.In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic before your trip for use in case you get traveler’s stomach; the choice of antibiotic differs by destination, so check with your doctor directly on this one.

Sunblock/Sunscreen: Any number of discomforting conditions can be caused by too much sun, and it doesn’t take that much exposure to bring on symptoms that can range from itchy skin to fairly serious stomach problems, all potential symptoms of sunstroke or excessive sun exposure. Pack a serious sunblock and a wide-brimmed hat, and you are set.

Research your destination for Known Health Risks: This is easy as can be these days; check out the CDC’s destination list for heaps of information by country.While you can’t safeguard against every possible malady, following all of the above recommendations will significantly reduce the likelihood of getting sick while traveling. If you have any tips we missed, please add them in the comments. Before you travel, check the CDC website to find out if any specific vaccinations are recommended in the regions to which you’re traveling. If so, make an appointment to get them done well before your trip.

Swim in polluted waters: There is a fantastic river in Fontein owned by my family and there are parts of the river that looks inviting in summer due to scorching heat. My home country can be extremely hot. The temptation to swim in it would be quite high—if I didn’t know what was in there. The water is beautiful, giving no hint of the heavy metals and goose bacteria that abound in the water. There’s a reason you don’t ever see anyone swimming in that lake.The presence of people in the water isn’t necessarily proof that the water quality is acceptable; there are lots of locations where locals go swimming (and catch fish and the like) even though health officials advise against it. Before diving in, look around for signs, pipes emptying into the water, scum on the surface and other common-sense indicators that the water isn’t safe for swimming.

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