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two health related questions

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Dec 7th, 2017, 08:12 AM
  #1
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two health related questions

two quick questions:
1. best insect repellant for use in national parks, etc?
2. guide books recommend that we not consume raw fruit or vegetables on one page, then wax rhapsodic about the amazing fruit concoctions in Thai restaurants...any insights? Has anyone gotten sick from eating fruits or salads in Thailand?
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Dec 7th, 2017, 08:43 AM
  #2
 
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Go to www.cdc.gov/travel and read about 1. mosquito repellants and 2. food and water precautions.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 08:52 AM
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1. I always take a bottle of 100% deet and dilute as needed to 50% in a 100ml spray bottle so I can take as carryon. Works for me - when I remember to spray!

2. One of my fav. Thai dishes is Som Tum - green papaya salad. I have never gotten sick from eating thatbor any other raw fruits or veg. I just take sensible precautions to eat in places where I am satisfied with hygiene standards. I never eat unpeeled fruit in Asia (or anywhere else for that matter.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 08:22 AM
  #4
 
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I agree with crellston, but I will add that fruits that need to be peeled are fine. It is not common to find "salads" like in the western sense that use leafy greens like lettuce. Most greens are cooked and are therefore fine.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 09:05 AM
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Don't buy any fruit from any source and eat it unless you know it's been properly and hygienically washed.

Don't eat in empty restaurants, and always check the toilets before ordering.....a dirty toilet might give you an idea what the kitchen looks like.

Deet 50 max for me.....remember it's a chemical.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 03:08 PM
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'check the toilets first'. This is certainly one of the more absurd comments i've read on these pages.

I've known restaurants in Asia with one water tap, dishes washed on the floor, and the food good coz always cooked. If you want the hygiene found in South Florida, go there, shop the super markets with every apple, pepper etc wrapped in plastic brought to you by 'giant agro-chem inc.'.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 04:39 PM
  #7
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I prefer picaridin to Deet, but agree that you should check the CDC site.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 07:22 PM
  #8
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I did read the cdc site, but it is a bit broad, I suspect a lot depends on where you are going/staying. Curious what folk think about the malaria prophylaxis controversy. According to the Fodors guide many health care workers in Thailand think taking preventative meds is a bad idea...
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Dec 10th, 2017, 09:23 AM
  #9
 
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There are only very small pockets of malarial risk in Thailand. If there is no risk, I think it is unwise to take anti-malarials.

Be aware that the issues for malaria prevention are quite different for people living in an area vs. people visiting an area. Also, note that the mosquitos that carry malaria are most active at dawn and dusk, not during the day.
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Dec 10th, 2017, 10:14 AM
  #10
 
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@jobin<<<'check the toilets first'. This is certainly one of the more absurd comments i've read on these pages.>>>

I'm referring to restaurants that pass themselves off as quality establishments. If the toilets aren't clean, then what chance the kitchen.....then there's freshness and food rotation issues. Wouldn't touch self-service buffets either, personal hygiene ain't that good in these days of slobbish behaviour.

Street food vendors don't have toilets, inevitably the food is freshly cooked in front of you, there's normally a queue, and tables full of happy munchers.....if the seats are empty and there's no queue then you won't have to walk far to find the right one.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 09:28 AM
  #11
 
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“This is certainly one of the more absurd comments i've read on these pages. ” seriously jobin - take a look back at your own posts if you want absurd.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 05:36 PM
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it has been shown that concentrations of DEET above 33% are no more effective.
Below that and the protection doesn't last so long.
basically DEET is the answer - there are others but DEET is available everywhere and contrary to popular belief is safe on humans.
DEET is available at most pharmacies - just check the label.

Thai fruit and veg bought locally have been shown recently to have very high quantities of pesticides on them. Whilst unlikely to make you immediately ill, they are not very nice things to ingest.....so wash/peel fruit is good advice. Most fruit stalls cut and prepare fruit for sale anyway.

Food poisoning.
Most people jump to conclusions about how they got food poisoning, blaming the last thing they ate.
You can get sick from yourself - hand to mouth contamination - just think where you hands have been.
I wonder about ice and water but have never had cause to believe they poisoned me.
I NEVER drink tap water and don't use it to brush my teeth .
"Familiar" doesn't necessarily mean safe - buffets in "western" hotels are little more than bacteria farms.

visitors to ANY country are likely to encounter e-coli that they don't have resistance to and might get a bad day as a result. If a Thai person visited your country the chances are the same.
However there is no immunity to the major food poisonings, which thankfully are quite rare in Thailand.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 05:41 PM
  #13
 
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as pointed out above - in general Western and Thai perceptions of hygiene don't always concur....however if you apply scientific approach rather than prejudice, you will find that things like street food - from fruit to noodles are really very enjoyable and a relatively risk-free experience
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Dec 16th, 2017, 04:29 AM
  #14
 
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"You can get sick from yourself - hand to mouth contamination - just think where you hands have been."

-

Exactly! Before I touch any food with my bare hands I clean my hands off. Things you touch between cleaning up at your hotel and toughing food you consume can re-contaminate your hands again!

Easy to get some wet-wipes type tissues from supermarkets when in Thailand. I always have some with me when out and about. Also some toilet paper in your bag for the remote toilet locations where there might not be any available! Sometimes no running water too for washing hands. (Another reason to have some wet-wipes in your purse, pack or carry bag.)

Good luck.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 04:32 AM
  #15
 
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"Things you touch between cleaning up at your hotel and toughing food you consume can re-contaminate your hands again!"

Touching! TOUCHING!

No preview - no edit!
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Dec 16th, 2017, 08:46 AM
  #16
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so interestingly enough - no deet 30%or more available at local stores - ended up having to order on the internet, but found some in wipes form which I like as they should be easier to transport.

I'm still a bit unclear on the fruit/vegie question. If fruit is peeled should it be safe? (I totally get - different tummies for different people and all peoples probably are challenged with another countries water systems)

For example: larb salad with Kaffir lime leaves on top - safe?

we want to enjoy eating without anxsting as it is one of our favorite travel adventures
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Dec 16th, 2017, 11:06 AM
  #17
 
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I have eaten Larb all over SE Asia and have never had a problem. It is one of te joys of eating in the region. I can only recall one serious food poisoning problem in travelling in Asia and that was as a result of a dodgy prawn at a buffet in a 5 * Hotel. I knew as soon as I ate it that it was bad, too late though and I spent the next two days in the bathroom.

Kaffir lime leaves are not part of a larb and are rarely eaten raw anyway.

If fruit is peeled it will be fine and most tropical fruit needs peeling to eat anyway.

As has been mentioned above, most stomach upsets are a result of not washing hands before eating. I would forget about travel wipes though and just carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser with you everywhere you go. Much more effective IMO.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 01:50 PM
  #18
 
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Hope it was a 5* lav you recovered in.
Done the 5* dodgy cuisine in Paris, Riyadh, and Goa.....never ever at basic street food level.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 05:11 PM
  #19
 
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crell - I agree! Even better than the wet wipes are small bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You can find them just about anywhere before you leave on your trip - I like the pocket size ones with a flip cap. Easy to use and nothing to dispose of afterwards. Pack a lot - so you and your travel companion(s) always have them at hand.

We brought a ton of them with us to India - used them often - pretty much any time we touched anything outside our hotel rooms.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 01:14 AM
  #20
 
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It was indeed 5* LL, but even so the view wasn’t great!

Good point re "nothing to dispose of" anything we can do to reduce rubbish being left all around this beautiful planet of ours will make a difference.
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