Water quality varies when you’re traveling outside of the United States. International travelers may be at risk for a waterborne disease due to countries that have inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene or surface water with dangerous organisms. The list of potential waterborne pathogens is high and includes protozoa, viruses, bacteria and parasitic helminths. Even where treated tap water is available, there may be an inadequate water treatment infrastructure that doesn’t disinfect the water safely.
If you’re a globetrotter, nothing ruins a good trip more than getting sick while abroad. When you get sick, you’ll be crossing out all of those to-do things on your travel itinerary and be spending time recuperating. Without a doubt, your travel dollars are wasted. So, what are the most common causes of waterborne illnesses when you travel globally? The number one cause is bacteria. This includes cholera, E. coli and salmonella. Illnesses like hepatitis A can also be caused by protozoa in the water. Often, international travelers get sick just because the pathogens in the water are foreign to their immune system. While the locals have had time to build up an immunity, those new to the location have not.
Countries with Unsafe Water
Montezuma’s Revenge is the common term for Mexican travel-induced diarrhea. And while Mexico is well known for its unsafe water, travelers also face a high risk of water contamination in continents like Asia, Middle East, Africa and Central America. According to Dr. Stephen Berger, medical advisor for GEDEON, approximately 40 percent of travelers will get diarrhea when traveling to an undeveloped country. Even well developed countries in Australia and cities in Russia can pose a risk for a waterborne illness. Even if a foreign city advertises their drinking water as being chlorinated, it doesn’t mean that the water is free of contaminants. The most common symptoms of waterborne illnesses include nausea, diarrhea, chills, aches and fever. Waterborne illnesses can range from mild gastrointestinal distress to serious bacterial diseases. If symptoms are especially severe, it’s best to seek medical attention right away.
Tips on Travel Waterborne Illnesses
Before you enjoy that tropical drink on ice, it’s important to realize that the ice itself could be contaminated. Freezing doesn’t kill off bacteria or viruses. Another thing to realize is that you can incur a waterborne illness from swimming in foreign lakes or oceans. Also note that simply brushing your teeth abroad can lead to a waterborne disease.
Solutions to Prevent Waterborne Illnesses When Traveling
Boiling the water before ingestion is an effective way to remove contamination. It should be boiled for at least one minute. Then, you can decant the water from one container to another. But why hassle with that when there’s Fit Bottle? It’s convenient and effective. Fit Bottle isn’t your ordinary water bottle with a filter. Unlike carbon block filters that lose up to 70 percent of its area adhesives, Fit Bottle doesn’t use adhesives. Unlike typical carbon block filters, Fit Bottle seals out viruses, bacteria and protozoa. It also filters some heavy metals and chlorine. Studies have shown that Fit Bottle, effectively eliminates up to 99 percent of bacteria, chemicals and viruses. It has been vigorously tested and certified by a national laboratory. Travel with it, stay healthy and enjoy your travel adventure.