common health problems

6 common health problems travelers must know on India trips

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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

Do you like this health-related post? Will you share it with your fellow travelers?


Thanks.

 

 

 

 

swayamt

storyteller. blogger.book writer. Marketing VP.
Live in Delhi.
Mad about stories on India, culture, people, and history
Yoga practitioner.
Trying to learn Instagram.
Chai addict.
That is all.

29 thoughts to “6 common health problems travelers must know on India trips”

  1. Good helpful list for all travelers! Stomach upset is the most common one.
    Most tropical countries have these problems. Countries in extreme climatic regions are better off.

  2. Really helpful tips you got! I did what you said here, I bookmarked this for future reference. I’ve been struck by dengue already way back and getting sick with for another time can be deadly. So as much as possible, I do not want to get sick with dengue any longer.

  3. You should add food poisoning to your list. I got it twice out of my three travels to India. It’s good to prepare for it and bring the proper medicine with you. I did the second time and I only had to take a day off, rest in bed and I was fine by the evening. It’s important to take the medicine at the first symptoms and always have electrolytes with you as well, to prevent dehydration.

  4. I have a friend who saves money for India vacation for a year now. She wants to visit at least five cities and stay there for several days in each and one of them. I know she has been researching the country for a long time, their customs, traditions, tourist attractions, best places to eat and sleep and so on. However, I doubt it that she considered the health issues at all. That is why I have just sent her the link of the post, I might save her vacation next year. 😀
    Anyways, the diseases related to food contamination and unclean food digestion are the most often issues, I suppose. We should really be careful when it comes to buying food, and not only in India, but also elsewhere.

  5. I usually get paranoid when it comes to such diseases especially about Dengue because I saw my cousin and how much he suffered when he got one.. since then I always bring insect repellent on my travel and I used to apply the cream on a daily basis
    thanks for this very useful tips

  6. A great comprehensive list of do’s and don’t for a disease free India visit. Good precautions listed too. Delhi belly is probably the commonest one that one can contradict !

  7. I guess I always underestimate the risks of traveling to other places. This is a good reminder that anyone can get sick, and it’s best to know what to do or steps for first-aid at least. Upset stomach is of course very common, although it won’t stop me from eating street food haha. 🙂

  8. This is a helpful list about health problems in India.Most Sri Lankans visit India and Nepal to see Buddhist places.In such pilgrimages,they are advised about health issues such as Diarrhea.I remember my mother also prepared for such issues when she was visiting India.They cooked their own food instead of buying from outside.

  9. I visited Goa with my mother in 1991 and she suffered from diarrhea there. She was very sick for a couple of days. A doctor came to see her to our hotel and she got medicine from him, so that was well organized, we didn’t need to go and search for one. We didn’t byu food from street vendors, ate at the hotel resort and on the day trips in the restaurants where the tour guide took us. Still this can happen, but luckily she didn’t miss more days. And, she was still thinking afterwards, that it wass great we travelled to India 😉

  10. This is a helpful reminder to anyone who will travel not only to India but to any parts of the world. We should always think of safety before leaving the house. I am just curious about the rabies thing, are dogs allowed to roam anywhere in India? Because in our place dogs must be inside its house or else you will be fined for letting your dog roam anywhere. That is to prevent the spread of rabies

  11. I’m really touched with this blog post of yours. I can really feel your genuine concern to those travelers who are planning to visit India in the future, in which I’m one of them. Also, I appreciate that you have given us a direct link for the clinic and hospitals in India for in case we badly need it. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  12. These are very useful tips who are planning to visit India for teh first time. Health is one thing which everyone would be very cautious about while travelling. Especially in countries like in India with a gamut of street food available, it is quite possible to get carried away agnostic of the troubles one could get into if not eating from a hygienic place. I m really glad you emphasized on the food part.

  13. Thank you for this insightful posts. Health and safety must be of paramount importance when it comes to traveling to foreign countries. India is one of the places in my bucket list and I dream of visiting the place one day with my boys. I will definitely keep these things in mind should that day come!

  14. Health is one of the most important factor during travels.And you have made a perfect comprehensive list of health problems which one can encounter during visit to India. And you too have included the symptoms and how it can be prevented which is really great. This is going to be super useful for all the travelers.

  15. Good post there are indeed many hazards for foreign travellers going to India! But taking care with the food and drinks like you mentioned can help a lot 🙂 Sometimes even in the better restaurant you get sick!

  16. This post is really helpful and informative. Likewise in the Philippines, it is important to bring mosquito repellents because there are Dengue-endemic areas in the country. As a rule of thumb in every travel, safety always comes first and this post will bring awareness to all travelers out there.

  17. So I should avoid street food when I go to India? That’s sad, I love street food 🙁

    So far I am lucky to not have fallen ill in my travels. But I bring meds just in case. Your tips are definitely useful. Interesting that you mentioned about rabies, I honestly didn’t think of getting bitten somewhere but it could be a possibility. Thanks for the tips, very useful indeed.

  18. Having born and broughtup in India, it comes naturally to me to guard myself, be cautious and know what to expect. But when I went out of India and read accounts of foreigners coming to India I realized there are many things that others don’t foresee. Your post will be suer useful for them in their preparation and a wonderful trip

  19. One can argue that among the most fascinating countries in the world is India. In fact, westerners should find that so much more so than say Asians. At any rate, the common health issues are not isolated in India alone, as it is the same in many others.

    Having read many travel posts to India, it seems that if there is ever any problem at all, then it is likely diarrhea. And yes, that is mainly due to eating dirty food. For some people, it cannot be avoided. Some really interesting-and-delicious-looking food are just around every corner. Of course, not all of the restaurants or stalls are clean.

    Good post, Swayam.

  20. Diarrhea is the most common illness that I experience whenever I travel. It sucks because I can’t enjoy the food when it’s what I love the most about travelling! 🙁 I have had dengue too and I would never want to experience that again. It’s such a horrible experience!

  21. I was surprised that rabies is on the list. I wonder if those dogs are present only in the countryside but not in the cities. I think that all those health issues are also applicable when we also travel in other countries beside India. My boyfriend and I are both lucky that we did not get any of those health problems when we travelled to other Asian countries.

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