[HEALTH]Traveling safe means eating the right foodVacation season is right around the corner, and a lot of vacationers are heading overseas. Changes in environment and diet, however, can affect our bodies significantly, and tourists can be exposed to unexpected diseases, particularly in semitropical regions.
Diarrhea is perhaps the most common symptom experienced by tourists. It occurs after consuming food or water contaminated with bacteria and is compounded by physiological and psychological stress. Many tourists traveling in tropical regions experience diarrhea by being exposed to germs like dysentery, vibrio and salmonella, and also to viruses and parasites.
Tourists also need to be cautious of malaria. Those who are traveling to semitropical regions must take malaria into consideration and try to prevent it. They should bring long-sleeved shirts and pants, a mosquito net and insecticide. They are less likely to catch malaria in large cities and popular destinations such as Phuket, but even those places have had reports of malaria cases.
There is no preventive injection one can take against malaria, so the best prevention is not to have mosquito bites in the first place. From dusk until dawn, when mosquitos are most active, tourists should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants or apply insect repellent.
Malaria is the most common and serious disease for tourists in tropical regions. Every year, more than 10,000 cases are reported by travelers to those regions. Its symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain and anemia. Tourists should be very careful about what they eat ― even if the food is already cooked; if it is left at room temperature for three to five hours, it could cause food poisoning. The only thing that is safe to eat raw is fruit with thick peels.
Water should also be boiled before drinking. Hot tea, coffee, canned and bottled beverages are safe to drink.
What happens if you get diarrhea? It can often be treated in two or three days, but it is important to deal with dehydration. Patients are advised to drink bottled beverages, boiled water and mild tea when the symptoms start (diluted fruit drinks and soups are also okay). If the diarrhea continues for more than one day, they should drink salty liquids and eat normally. If patients continue to have diarrhea for more than three days, or have watery or bloody discharges and vomiting, they should consult a doctor.
by Limb Jae-un