Prevent Traveler’s Diarrhea

Preventing illness or injury is a big part of making a vacation trip relaxing and enjoyable. Eating carefully when you travel, for example, can help you avoid getting sick if you travel to a country with an increased risk of traveler's diarrhea, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the most predictable travel-related illness.
To be careful, you have to take precautions, says David Alcid, MD, an immunologist who specializes in travel medicine at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.  “If you can’t boil it, peel it or cook it, forget about it,” says Dr. Alcid.
Below are some tips for avoiding diarrhea and other conditions while traveling courtesy of the Saint Peter’s Better Health Library:
  1.  Eat foods that are steaming hot and well-cooked. These are usually the safest.
  2. Avoid eating foods from street vendors, no matter how appetizing they look.
  3. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products and raw or uncooked seafood.
  4. Peel fruits yourself.
  5. Drink commercially bottled water or carbonated beverages.
  6. Avoid ice.
  7. Use bottled water when brushing your teeth.
  8. If you are traveling to a country with an increased risk of malaria, get a prescription for preventive medicine for this disease from your healthcare provider. The medicine needs to be taken before you go on your trip, during your travels, and for a certain number of days after you return, depending on the type of medicine prescribed.
  9. Avoid swimming and any water activities in freshwater lakes and streams as you may be exposed to certain diseases. If you are traveling to a country with an increased risk of disease transmitted by mosquitoes, such as malaria or yellow fever, be sure to protect yourself with insect repellents, special clothing, and bed nets.

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