All travelers should take the following precautions, no matter the destination:
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively; avoid travel at night if possible and always use seat belts.
- Don’t eat or drink dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized.
- Never eat undercooked ground beef and poultry, raw eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products; raw shellfish is particularly dangerous to persons who have liver disease or compromised immune systems.
- Don’t eat food purchased from street vendors; do not drink beverages with ice.
- Don’t handle animals, including dogs and cats, to avoid bites and serious diseases.
- Travelers to rural or undeveloped areas should take the following precautions:
- Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles; avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes; if this is not possible, make water safer by both filtering through an “absolute 1-micron or less” filter and adding iodine tablets to the filtered water (“absolute 1-micron filters” are found in camping/outdoor supply stores).
- Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
- Protect yourself from insect bites.
What you need to bring with you:
- Prescription medications sufficient for the entire trip and a copy of the prescription(s).
- Over-the-counter antidiarrheal medicine in case you have diarrhea.
- Sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat.
- Iodine tablets and water filters to purify water if bottled water is not available.
- Clothing that covers your entire body, insect repellent containing DEET, and nets for beds to avoid insect bites.