The most common hazard for people traveling in developing countries is unsafe drinking water. Statistics show that 768 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. Research the country you would like to visit and find out if they have access to safe drinking water. If not, follow these tips to best protect your body from illness and disease while travelling.
As mentioned above, the first step to having safe drinking water is to know the about the country you are visiting. Research your options for drinking water.
2. Water Bottles
Only drink out of water bottles when in developing countries. These are most likely to be purified and sanitized.
3. Water Filters
Carry a water filter with you. This will kill most of the bacteria in the water; however, not all of it.
4. Iodine Tablets
Carry Iodine tablets with you. Iodine kills most but not all of the common pathogens in unsafe water.
5. Boil Water
Boil unsafe water. This will kill all of the pathogens in water if done properly.
6. Brushing Your Teeth
Only brush your teeth with safe drinking water. Many think it is not necessary to use safe drinking water if you do not swallow. However, pathogens may still be ingested when you are brushing your teeth. Just to be on the safe side, use bottled or filtered water.
7. Other Drinks
Do not drink tea, coffee, or juices because they do contain water! Make sure that any drink that you have only uses safe drinking water when prepared.
Only drink beverages such as water, sodas, and sports drinks, that are bottled or in sealed containers. Do not drink fountain drinks. Sealed containers are the most likely to be safe. Carbonated beverages are your safest option.
Be careful of the ice that you use as well. Make sure that it was only made from water bottles or purified water.
9. Buying Food and Water
Do not buy food or water from street vendors. It is impossible to know what they are actually selling you and if it is safe.
10. Flavored Ice and Popsicles.
Stay away from flavored ice and Popsicles. Once again, it is unknown if your sweet treat was made using safe drinking water.
11. Fruits and Vegetables
Do not eat salsa or other foods with fresh ingredients. Many times they are not properly cleaned, or they are cleaned with unsafe water.
Do not eat unwashed or unpeeled raw fruit. They are more than likely watered with unsafe drinking water.
Follow all of these tips on how to keep your self out of harms way when it comes to drinking water and you will have a healthy trip to the developing country of your choice. See your doctor before leaving the country to ensure you have all the vaccinations you need before you go.