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Question about Proactive Measures to avoid getting sick.

Question about Proactive Measures to avoid getting sick.

Old Aug 5th, 2003, 01:43 PM
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Question about Proactive Measures to avoid getting sick.

Hello, in my research so far, I have read about a few people taking Pepto Bismol every day starting before the trip and continuing until returning to avoid getting sick. Does this work? Is this safe to do for 5 days? Is there something else one can get by prescription to take every day while on the trip?
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 01:50 PM
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I've traveled extensively all over the Caribbean for years and never been sick.
I've eaten at roadside stands, in people's homes and at five-star resorts.

Here are my secrets:

Stay hydrated. (It's almost impossible to drink too much water while in the Caribbean.)
Don't overdo sun and alcohol.
Don't eat at buffets - period.
Don't drink tap water.

If all else fails, there's Cipro. Get a prescription filled before you go just in case.
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 01:57 PM
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I've never heard of the Pepto Bismol remedy, and as its taste alone is enough to induce vomiting in me...well,let's just say that I wouldn't do it.

Diana is absolutely right about the hydration issue. Your best bet is drink only bottled water, even if the island says that tap water is safe to drink. The caveat here is that ice cubes used in drinks are probably made with tap water.

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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 02:00 PM
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I think you must be referring to traveller's diarrhea. That's a common problem in parts of Mexico.
It's not a common problem in the Caribbean.
No need to take Pepto Bismol for travels to the Caribbean islands.

As for other travel-related infections, more than 90% are due to hand-to-face contamination. That is, you touch things on a plane or airport handrail or similar, then touch your mouth, nose etc.
Eliminating this behavior (with frequent hand washing) will nearly eliminate most common travel related infections.
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 07:16 PM
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I am in full agreement that if you can keep your hands clean (and away from your face etc.) then you are much better off.

To that end, I always travel with some of the small moist towlettes that you can get in restaurants (like KFC etc.) that are used to wipe your hands after a meal. I keep some of these in my vest pocket and before eating out, or when I think it necessary, I can wipe my hands down. It is also possible to get these from a drugstore as disinfectant wipes which of course are even better than the simple degreaser wipes.

Have a great trip.
Steve
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Old Aug 6th, 2003, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for the thoughts. We're going to teh Dominican Republic, and I have been reading about people tending to get a little sick, whether from over indulgence, or what, I am unsure. I think we have to deal with buffets, as that's the deal at the hotel. The hydration point is a good one.
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Old Aug 6th, 2003, 11:54 AM
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Here's a tip I learned the hard way while staying on Cozumel: we were very careful not to drink tap water (kept a bottle of water in the room to brush our teeth and so on.)

However, we had several drinks at the hotel bar that were made up in batches and kept cold in pitchers (fruit juices, margaritas, pina coladas, etc.) They weren't served with ice in the glass, so it never occured to us that there was ice (made from tap water) melting away in the pitcher behind the bar. I know now how stupid we were. I got so sick (and probably dehydrated) that I actually passed out. Not fun. Otherwise, loved Cozumel though!
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Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:02 PM
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That's wise advice for much of Mexico.
And watch the salads, too. Washing the lettuce and vegetables douses them in infected water.

But none of that is a concern in the Caribbean that I've ever heard.
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Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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YES! The pepto Bismol thing works! Except I chew a tablet before each meal. It was the first time in 50 years that I had not been sick in Mexico (and have lived near the border all my life). Forget the bottle, use the tablets - easily carried in a purse and chewed.

A must for Mexico - I never take them to the Caribbean, but Dominican Republic might be another story. Be safe and take some along just in case!
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Old Jan 15th, 2010, 05:12 PM
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To avoid my family and I from getting sick I always carry antiseptic wipes and the antiseptic waterless soap. I am also very careful not to drink the tap water of where ever we are visiting. I also bought travel seat covers for the plane/bus seats. I found them at http://www.surefit.net/shop/categori...stc=0115100011 I always felt better having a barrier between myself and the seat you travel for many hours in. Hope these ideas help!
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Old Jan 16th, 2010, 12:25 AM
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Buffets - think of all the germs on the serving utensils. Serve yourself, use antiseptic gel on hands prior to eating anything.

Travel seat covers - while they may make you feel safer, unless you AND previous passenger in that seat are flying naked, there is nothing one can catch from the seat that a seat cover is going to prevent.
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Old Jan 16th, 2010, 09:43 AM
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I think the problem is staying at an all-inclusive resort and eating your meals from their buffets. You really don't have much control over what you're eating, how it was prepared and handled, etc. And yes I've read of this problem before, people were talking about AI's in Punta Cana area.
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 09:29 AM
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Get the Cipro---1/2 of our group got severe diarrhea in Punta Cana at a highend AI. The resort was wonderful and the beach stunning. What about the earthquake on the other end of the island? Is that detering any travelers?
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 09:54 AM
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Is it possible some people don't realize that Haiti and the DR share the same island?
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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No, the earthquake in Haiti is not deterring travelers to the DR because it was hundreds of miles away and because there were no problem whatsoever at any of the tourist resorts (at least nothing that I've been able to discover yet).

The issue with buffets is two-fold: food handling and temperature (which has been greatly improved in the past few years); and cleanliness from other travelers. But you can certainly eat from buffets and not get sick ... thousands of people do all the time.

The truth is, most of the problems these days are from noroviruses, not from food-contamination issues. Sanitizing your hands

The best way to avoid being sick is to:
1. Don't drink or brush your teeth with tapwater anywhere.
2. Wash or sanitize your hands regularly.
3. Eat earlier during major meal times or eat when new food is brought out from the kitchen to ensure that the food is held at proper temperatures.

This is going to solve 90% of the problems.

I've heard the thing about Pepto-Bismal, but the truth is that this isn't great for your system. You may end up the a problem opposite of the one you are trying to prevent.
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Old Jan 26th, 2010, 11:44 AM
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My friend in the DR said they barely felt any tremors when the biggest quake hit Haiti. Life is as usual in the DR. I am heading there next week, in fact. Being a worry wart, I am a tad bit concerned about the fault on that side of the island getting active now.
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Old Jan 27th, 2010, 04:33 AM
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Alot of times the stomach problems are caused by a change in diet or water. For those reasons my wife and I are very careful what 'new' foods we eat no matter where we vacation but most importantly we avoid drinkly the local tap water. We always use bottle water for brushing our teeth. In fact we will put a face cloth over the faucet to remind us not to use the tap water. After washing our hands we also use hand-sanitzer and/or wipes. We have now developed the habit of taking Dukoral before travelling to countries where drinking water is definitely a problem (Egypt, Greece to some extent, Mexico, DR). I believe you can get Dukoral over the counter.

http://chealth.canoe.ca/drug_info_de...ticle_rating=1
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Old Jan 27th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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I didn't think you could get Dukoral at all in the US. I don't think it's FDA approved.
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