Traveling to other countries – and staying healthy – requires planning, preparation, self-discipline, and vigilance.
- Avoid tap water: This includes water from the tap and beverages with ice. Don’t drink when brushing your teeth or bathing. In developing countries, water may be contaminated by bacteria, parasites, and viruses that cause serious illnesses. Even a small amount of contaminated water can make you ill.
- Avoid raw fruits and vegetables: This includes salads and uncooked vegetables. These may be contaminated or may have been rinsed with unsafe water. Eat only food that has been cooked and is still hot, or fruit that you know has been washed in safe water and you have peeled yourself.
Remember that adequate fluid intake is essential to preventing dehydration. So it’s important to keep drinking safe water even if you have diarrhea.
The most common cause of “Travelers' Diarrhea” can be treated with over-the-counter products when used according to directions. Find reliable medical help if you have severe abdominal cramps or pain, high fever, blood or mucus in your stool, and/or severe dehydration.