Many questions keep coming to us are about health, care, and hygiene in India. There is no doubt about the varied geography of the country, in the north one can suffer altitude sickness and, in the south, dengue or diarrhea. It is not only about India, but anywhere you travel, you must be careful and be with high defenses. How they say, better to prevent than to cure.
Before leaving on a trip, in general, we usually visit the traveler’s Medical Department. Whether in a public hospital or a private clinic, most cities have travel advice.
They are short consultations. Based on the itinerary of the trip, the time of year and the clinical history of each one, certain vaccines, care, and complementary medications are recommended. It is not a mandatory visit, but if it serves to clarify doubts and take the necessary precautions depending on the area, we visit.
First aid kit
In addition to the necessary vaccines in traveler’s medicine, they told us how to prepare a proper kit. In general terms, it is essential to take analgesics, broad-spectrum antibiotics, antispasmodics, antihistamines, antidiarrheals, decongestants and first aid elements (Pervinox, dressings, bandages, etc.).
Do not forget to carry waterless cleaning products like waterless shampoo and waterless bath, as you may not have the availability of water to take a shower all the time. Especially if you are planning to go on a trek.
Common diseases and problems
If we have to say quickly which are the main risks to which travelers are exposed, we could say:
I. Traveler’s diarrhea
90% of travelers who visit India are prisoners of diarrhea. Be lighter, longer, with more or less belly pain, more than once we felt that our body did not belong to us and we had to run to the bathroom.
As much as one takes precautions, food in itself is so different that the body has to react in some way. The most significant risk of diarrhea is possible dehydration that may come later. It is essential to drink plenty of water and consult your doctor if diarrhea is frequent. Perhaps it can be parasites, bacteria or as happened to us, and become a strong urinary infection.
II. Malaria and dengue
Although in many regions of India there is no risk of malaria, there are areas where there are still cases. With Dengue, the same thing happens.
For malaria, you can take medication, or you can kill two mosquito birds with one stone and trust the mosquito repellent. If the mosquitoes do not bite, there are no risks of malaria or dengue.
The idea is to get repellent at least twice a day (especially at sunrise and sunset). Always use repellent with DEET of at least 15% and try to sleep with mosquito net and fan.
III. Respiratory problems
In large cities, pollution is not a minor problem. To the smog, dust, and dirt, people with respiratory and allergic issues have to be careful in large cities.
I. Eating in crowded places
The first and great advice is to eat where there are people. Many tourist restaurants are usually empty. It is best to go where the food circulates, that way we make sure it is fresh.
II. Always bottled water
It is best to try to avoid water from the tap. Especially in the big cities, it is always advisable to buy bottled water. Some cities have drinking water, and many houses have filters, which is a good option. The method of boiling or using water purification tablets always works.
III. Fresh and cooked vegetables
Avoid salads unless it is a place of trust or washes the vegetables yourselves. Even with the fruit, you need to be careful. In general, if you buy fruit, try to make it as fresh as possible and peel it yourselves.