common health problems

6 common health problems travelers must know on India trips

We know that you have been planning your India travel for several months. This article will help you enjoy your India vacation to stay away from these common health problems. Make a note of this article, maybe you can bookmark it for future reference. It would be good if you also shared this health article with your friends who are headed to India if not this year then somewhat later.

Please note that this health article does not substitute for doctors. It can only guide you to overcome certain health related issues that you might encounter while traveling through India.

We also advise you to visit a  doctor for the necessary injections and immunizations before you start your travel.

                   6 common health problems

 

  1. Diarrhea

 Many travelers to India often suffer from this illness. This is actually upset stomach which results  when you eat unclean food. This illness is more painful when you are away from toilets and      other public amenities.

Garba dance
Don’t let an upset stomach keep you away from dancing in India. Creds- Flickr

Diarrhea also results because your stomach is unable to cope with a change in diet.

To treat yourself with this illness, carry some Immodium with yourself. Also, carry some Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) to take care of your tummy. Dissolve ORS in clean water and drink the mixture.

Prevention– Avoid diarrhea by refusing to eat food cooked on street. You should have your lunch or dinner in restaurants frequented by a large number of other diners. Don’t take washed salad and fresh fruit juice because the juice may be mixed with contaminated water. Insist upon having hot and freshly made food. Avoid having meat during your India trip because it may have been washed with dirty water.If someone is offering a freshly cut fruit, just say NO. The knife may have been washed with unclean water.Drinking bottled water is a must. You will also see a large number of vendors selling freshly cut coconut. Don’t fall for that fruit. Have lots of spicy food while in India, it helps in cleaning up your stomach and nose.

Stay away from ice-cubes offered to you by street vendors as these cubes may be made in unhygienic conditions.

Tips on coping with diarrhea have been shared with me by my dear friend Stephanie Langlet, who lives in France. She is a regular visitor to India and works closely with Indians. You can interact with her via this website, https://tribesandminorities.com/blog/

 

              Mosquito -related diseases

 

  • Dengue and Malaria fever

Dengue and malaria are some of the most common health problems that affect not just the travelers but also the Indians. These diseases are caused by two different kinds of mosquitoes.

If you are travelling through India during the July, August and September months, then ensure that you have the required protection against these diseases.

Typically, these diseases occur in areas where there is stagnant water which causes the mosquitoes to breed in large numbers.

The main symptom of malaria is a flu-like fever. You can treat yourself by taking anti-malarial drugs. Prevent malaria by rubbing on your skin anti-mosquito repellents ( creams) that you can buy at the local chemist. One very popular cream is Odomos.

common health problems
Apply this cream on your skin to avoid mosquito bites. Creds- Globetrotting.com

There are also some anti-mosquito repellents that emit some smoke (All Out), buy them and use them during the nights. Malaria mosquitoes normally bite during nights.

Dengue is caused by tiger-striped mosquitoes that bite during early morning or late evening.

Aedes egypti mosquito
Watch out for this mosquito which causes dengue. Creds- CNN.com

The symptoms of dengue are quite similar to those of malaria. However, dengue is also accompanied by pains in the joints, bones and behind the eyes. If you are not careful, then your platelet count may go down because of this illness.

If you think you have dengue, then go to a doctor immediately. Luckily, most government hospitals in India give free treatment of dengue.

Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen, if you have dengue as these drugs may increase complications.

If you want to know more about this disease, then read this article- http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dengue-fever/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20345589

Prevent dengue by wearing long sleeved shirts and pajamas, jeans  etc. in the evenings.

 

                     Liver illnesses

 

  • Hepatitis A and B

These illnesses affect the liver so you must know how to protect it during your India travel.

Hepatitis A affects liver by eating contaminated food and drinking bad water and other fluids. The other kind of Hepatitis B happens when you take impure blood or other body fluids.

Therefore avoid bad food,transfusion of impure blood and unsafe sex.

Varanasi on your mind? Then read this article- http://www.ahauntedtravel.com/varanasis-ramnagar-ramlila-must-attend-haunting-event/

The symptoms of Hepatitis are nausea, stomach ache, fatigue, discharge of dark colored urine, bad appetite, and yellow eyes.

To  avoid Hepatitis, go in for vaccination before your start your India trip.

Years ago, I had once contracted jaundice and had to spend several days resting.

Read this article to know more about this disease and its cure- http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-b/basics/treatment/con-20022210

                         General diseases

 

  • Typhoid

This disease is caused by having food that is contaminated by the faeces of an infected person.

The common symptoms of this disease are diarrhea, high fever, vomiting and sweating.

To prevent this disease, please get yourself inoculated by a doctor. You can also use antibiotics to cure yourself of this disease.

  • Tetanus

One of the most common health problems that affect the travelers is Tetanus. It is a bacterial disease that enters the human body through cuts and bruises. If you get a cut or a bruise for whatever reasons, go and get yourself injected.

The most common symptom of this disease is stiff muscles and spasms.

Get inoculated by a doctor before you start your journey to India.

  1. Rabies

You will find a large number of stray dogs in India when you come here. While most of these dogs are harmless, you never know when one of them can decide to bite you.

stray dog
Rush to a doctor if a dog bites you. Creds-deccanchronicle.com

Dog bite can cause rabies and if you do not consult a doctor in time then you may get into serious trouble.

Symptoms of rabies include mental confusion, fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms and even paralysis.

What happens if you are bitten by a dog? Follow these steps:

  1. Place a clean towel over the injury to stop bleeding
  2. Try to keep the bitten area elevated.
  3. Wash the bitten area with lots of soap water
  4. Apply a sterile bandage over the injury
  5. Visit a doctor immediately

The doctor might ask these questions;

  • Did the dog bite you after it was provoked or was it an unprovoked bite?
  • Do you know the owner of the dog?
  • Is the dog vaccinated?
  • Do you have a medical history? Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure etc.?

I hope that you have a safe and pleasant experience in India. In case you fall sick , then please consult this website for a list of hospitals in Delhi that will provide you urgent care:

http://delhi.gov.in/wps/portal/!ut/p/c0/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3hvdxMXExdTEwMDXzNzA09_YyOPEHcnAwMLQ_2CbEdFAIa72s0!/?WCM_PORTLET=PC_7_KG4D4D5400M670IO32HTGB0046_WCM&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/wps/wcm/connect/doit_health/Health/Home/Directorate+General+of+Health+Services/Emergency+Medical+Care

Please consult this article on rabies to know more about this disease; http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-bites

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