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Travel Health Tips

This category contains tips for staying healthy on the road.

Giardia information for travelers

Giardiasis is an intestinal infection caused by the single celled organism Giardia. Expect some combination of diarrhea, bloating, vomiting and nausea. Also, sulphur smelling burps - this is one of the most commonly reported symptoms with giardiasis. Long-term infections can cause weight loss, malnutrition and loss of appetite. Giardiasis may be less alarming than other [...]


SteriPEN Traveler Review

SteriPEN traveler review

We have previously discussed the importance of treating water (see our article How to Prevent and Treat Traveler's Diarrhea). If you are traveling in the developing world, tap water is often unsafe to drink and in rural areas, well water will certainly make you sick. If you are not trying to spend lots of money [...]

traveler's diarrhea prevention and treatment

Traveler's diarrhea is the universal affliction. It affects nearly everyone traveling in developing world areas. There are steps you can take to prevent it, but don't be surprised if you come down with a case of the runs despite efforts to eat and drink carefully. Thankfully, most cases of traveler's diarrhea are short-lived and they [...]

ways to stay healthy while traveling

Most of these tips apply whether you are traveling or not. It is when we are traveling, however, that they become more important. New germs, new food, and an itinerary that might not lend itself to rest and relaxation are all factors that can derail our efforts to stay healthy. A good diet is fundamental [...]

altitude sickness

A few years ago I took the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu in Peru. The trek lasts five days and covers mountainous terrain, especially in the early going. Still not fully acclimatized, I made the mistake of hiking too fast on the first day. When we reached the camp (altitude of 4000m or so), I [...]

4 ways to treat water while traveling

One of the easiest ways to get sick when traveling is through contaminated water. Whether it's a simple case of traveler's diarrhea or something worse, like amoebic dysentery, it's hard to enjoy yourself when you're spending most of your time on the toilet. You may find yourself in a rural area without access to clean [...]


Cipro is used to treat a laundry list of bacterial infections, including anthrax, a number of bone and joint infections, and most relevant for travelers, bacterial diarrhea. It is the atomic bomb of antibiotics. Widely prescribed for a variety of infections, cipro has lost its potency over recent years. Some strains of bacteria have become [...]

amoebic dysentery

While traveling Northern Mali in the fall of 2010, I came down with a horrific case of amoebic dysentery. When the symptoms began, I assumed I had traveler's diarrhea, which would last a day or two - uncomfortable and inconvenient, but nothing serious. When I started shitting blood, I realized something more sinister was at [...]

why World Nomads offers the best travel insurance

Before selecting travel insurance for my last trip to West Africa, I did online research and I polled friends who traveled frequently. In my quest to find the best travel insurance, World Nomads was repeatedly suggested. After doing some additional research, I saw that they were also recommended by many travel companies, including Lonely Planet. [...]

which malaria prophylactic should you take?

There is no vaccine for malaria, but you can take prophylactics. The reason a vaccine has not been developed is largely due to the life-cycle of the protist that causes the disease. When an infected mosquito bites you, the protist enters your bloodstream and makes its way inside of your red blood cells. Because the [...]

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