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Do people still get stomach upsets when they go south of the border?

Do people still get stomach upsets when they go south of the border?

Oct 21st, 2004, 04:32 AM
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Do people still get stomach upsets when they go south of the border?

For years we were afraid to travel south of the border due to the common complaint of stomach upsets from most travelers. Was it the food, the water, or germs in the air. Maybe things were not clean in the kitchen? Anyway, almost everyone I talked to that went down to Mexico reported that they got very sick on the trip.

This this still a big problem for American travelers to Mexico?
travdis is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 05:12 AM
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Problem is that all those that get sick eat and drink like there is no end....how do they expect to feel good after indulging like pigs.
Eat and drink with moderation and you will see that nothing happens. It is normal for litlle upset stomach, cooking methods are different, condiments are different..your body is not used to it.
Walk to any drug store in latin america and get some "sal de frutas" take one if you feel sick...
miguelgcuadra is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 05:27 AM
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We've been to Mexico several times and have never gotten ill. Follow Miquel's suggestions and you won't either. They have plenty of bottled water for sale there. We took a 2 week tour through norhtern Mexico last year and the hotels provided bottled water for us if they didn't have their own water purification systems. Most of the people who get sick drink too much, stay up too late, party too much and lay around in the hot sun too much. Don't go crazy down there and you'll be fine.
mamajo is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 05:58 AM
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We've been traveling to Mexico once or twice a year for weeks at a time for 12 years and have eaten hundreds of meals there.

I got sick one time for about a day and a half on Cozumel, but nothing major. (I ate Poc Chuc that did NOT agree with me.)

The main thing I would avoid is All Inclusive resorts with cheap booze and buffets that sit out for hours in the heat and are picked over by many people (and flies).
Diana is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 06:22 AM
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I've been to Mexico and the caribbean a dozen times and never got sick. Actually, I've never gotten a stomach bug ever on any vacation, but I certainly have gotten the stomach bug in my own home state more than once. You can get food poisoning anywhere. Why let that stop you from going to Mexico? Just use proper precautions and have fun!
Dori is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 06:47 AM
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Sorry I must disagree with the majority above! I LOVE Mexico and have been on 16 trips there in the past 10 years. But yes, now and then I have gotten sick (travelers diarrea to be exact) from something I ate or drank.

I don't think people should make such flippant replies as some above. I did not over-do it in food or alcohol.

You still need to be careful. Only drink bottled water (as do many Mexican families who can afford to have Sparklettes-style delivered), most hotels provided purified water for your use. I avoid salads and fruits than cannot be peeled. I am aware that food is freshly prepared, streetside taco stands are actually one of the safest places to eat IMO.

My friend got extremely sick eating chicken from a popular to-go place, but it was very late at night, the chicken had been sitting around all day, and way then thrown back on the grille to heat up for him. He was in bed for 2 days.

I saw one woman at the airport on a return trip puking her guts out, sitting waiting for her plane to go home. She had been drinking pina coladas at an All-Inclusive (her family told me this). Her husband who had stuck to beer was fine.

My belief is that handling of food is where the trouble comes in (not germs per se or a dirty kitchen). Budget A-I buffets are notorious for making people ill because it is food that sits around in the heat and is sometimes used over and over.

I got sick on a cream sauce pasta in a nice Italian restaurants I'd been to many times. But the A/C was out that day, and looking back I assume there was a problem with the refrigeration system as well.

I do not mean this to be a scare reply, but only to strongly disagree with the casual remarks above, implying that you will only get sick "indulging like pigs" and that a more realistic answer to Travdis's question is...

YES it is still sometimes a problem for American or any other travelers visiting Mexico.
suze is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 07:28 AM
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Just to be fair, please note that stomach upsets among travelers coming to the US from south of the border are not unknown. This would be attributable to the fact that the normal intestinal flora and fauna are different around the world--I sometimes get sick in France, too, if I drink too much of the tap water. Using bottled water significantly lessens the risk, as does avoiding food that has not been properly refrigerated, is not freshly prepared, etc.
marilynl is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 07:51 AM
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one more medication... squeeze a couple of limes or lemons and mix it with sea salt...add some ice and drink it..will take care of any virus. do not worry tates like medicinal margaritas...believe me it works....
miguelgcuadra is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 08:45 AM
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It depends on a lot of factors. I have been traveling to Mexico frequently for 15 years. Have only been sick once, but I was realy sick. I think it was due to tap water on plates at a private residence. There are a variety of factors. Some research shows some people are more apt to have problems than others. Example: took a group to Mexico, everyone ate the same, one ended up in the hospital, everyone else was fine. Overall if you eat at reputable places, drink bottled water and wash your hands before eating you probably will have little trouble. In Mexico I continue to be a beliver in drinking the yogurt drinks that Mexican folks drink a lot. Evidence indicates the lactobaccilus in yogurt is helpful in preventing stomach problems.
Dude is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 09:05 AM
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Another tip... often lime wedges are served, use them! squeeze into your beer bottle, squirt onto your fish dinner, etc.
suze is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 10:03 AM
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I have traveled to Mexico many times. Primarily while living in Texas 15 years ago but have been about 4 times recently. I still have trouble in Mexico no matter how careful I am. Just my stomach possibly but I haven't had a problem in any of the other central and south american countries I have been in.
Jessie_ is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 10:14 PM
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The issue is that there are things in foreign waters to which our bodies are not accustomed - even for foreigners visiting your home town.

Oh, sure, the explanation of upset stomach is fine for over-indulging, but this is not the question being posed by travdis.

Mexico or Russia, I get problems with Giardia or Amoebic Dysentery and end up with Montezuma's Revenge - or traveler's diahrrea.

As a teenager, I met a water company employee on the hottest of summer days in the city. The water company crew was opening all of the fire hydrants one-by-one to test them, and the man drank from the one nearest my home. Because he had been doing this for years, his system had adapted and he never got sick - as he stated that I would if I drank that water. On another scorching day, my friends and I used my dad's monkey wrench to open the fire hydrant and I proved that man right. Sick as a dog after playing in that water.

So, you don't have to be in a foreign country.
TripleSecDelay is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2004, 06:33 AM
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I own a house in San Miguel de Allende and live there 2 or 3 months a year.
I agree with DUDE that local Natural Yogurt is very helpful for prevention and I use Yerba de Perro (an Indian herbal tea) for symptoms.
I think the wonderful local restaurant salsas are responsible for my infrequent problems.
Drink bottled water and don't eat on the street.
Amebiasis and Giardiasis are potentially serious parasite illnesses and need antimicrobial RX.
Bring along your common sense and enjoy all that Mexico has to offer.
mikemo is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2004, 06:56 AM
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Just a further note, don't drink the water from the tap at all. As Mikemo notes- he drinks bottled. I have never stayed in a private home anywhere in the country where the folks drank the tapwater. It is always delivered to the home. The only people in Mexico who drink tap or well water are those who can't afford not to. These folks do get sick.
Dude is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2004, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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I got traveler's stomach on my last trip to Mexico, but went to the local pharmacy, bought Cipro, took just one and felt perfectly fine for the rest of the trip.
Didn't think of this on my own; was a recommendation from an article in the LA Times...
blossom is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2004, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 257
Have to agree with the majority here! Diana makes a particularly good point that is often overlooked, in fact reversed, as people tend to believe resort food is somehow magically safer than that outside a resort.

Keep in mind that in addition to the different bacteria, flora, fauna, etc point, and also perhaps en even more important point -- increase consumption of alcohol -- you've also got potential culprits in dehydration due to the heat, foods that are clean but different from what you're used to, the stress and excitement of travel, possible time changes... Lots of stuff can upset a stomach besides unclean food!

Ryberg is offline  
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