When traveling to any new destination internationally, visiting a personal physician or health clinic, at least four weeks before departure, is always recommended. This can allow you to understand the common ailments that may be at your destination, plus, get vaccinations and immunization to ensure you do not catch any infection or illnesses that commonly prevail in the country or the place you are traveling.
Traveling to a new destination can be very relaxing and enjoyable if we follow some common sense steps and bring our medical kit along, which contains all the necessary things. Also, medical travel insurance can be of great use, especially giving you coverage in your home country as well, if the need arises for continuing medication or treatment after returning back to your home.
Travelers to Egypt must get a yellow fever vaccination no matter what and is recommended for all those who are older than one year of age. Generally, no other vaccinations are needed. Hepatitis C is at the highest incidence in Egypt but the infection can spread only when sharing contaminated needles, so make sure you stay away from something like this to ensure safety.
Another important factor that you should look for is preparation for heat protection which means carrying lots of sunblock and drinking a lot of water that can keep you hydrated all the time. Only bottled water must be used, as water in Egyptian cities is said to be highly chlorinated. Also, there should be ample care taken when eating out to prevent the occurrence of travelers’ diarrhea, which is a very common health concern that most people face when traveling to a new country. The water of the Nile River should never be consumed. Medical treatment can be very expensive sometimes so travel insurance must always be included in your budget. Also, medical facilities that are good are accessible only in some major cities of Egypt.
Your Travel Health in Egypt!
Many tourists have health concerns when traveling to other countries revolving around the cleanliness of the water, the safety of the food, potential illnesses, and the standard of hospital care. Keep reading and we will give you some facts as well as some good information we've learned from our long experience in leading tours.
When visiting Egypt, don't drink the tap water - it's highly chlorinated. However, with enough time in Egypt, you could potentially grow accustomed to the water. This doesn't mean that the tap water is polluted, it simply means that you are not used to it, and you might get stomach problems. This happened to me while I was visiting the UK and attempted to drink tap water - I got stomach cramps. I was simply not used to water there. It's a similar situation in Egypt. It is advisable to drink bottled water during your entire holiday. That is why I would advise strongly that you don't drink tap water, and use it only for washing and brushing your teeth.
Tourists are often advised not to eat the many fresh fruits or vegetables, but this means missing out on some of the best taste sensations you will ever have! In Egypt, it is safe to eat fruit and vegetables, as long as the food has been washed correctly! You will find that any good hotel or cruise boat will wash them before cooking, so don't worry! Avoid eating in really cheap places or local outlets. If you wish to eat local food, stick with Falafel, or what Egyptians called Tammia, preferably from a known place such as the restaurants on the streets of Downtown. Tammia is very cheap, very safe, and very tasty food.
When you embark upon a Nile cruise, you may get diarrhea due to many contributing factors, such as the class of boat you are staying in, the quality of food, and the cleanliness habits that you follow.
We always spend the time to fully brief the guests on the tips and tricks of a successful Egyptian holiday including any and all health tips before the cruise.
Then ...How come? At this point, most people would assume that the food causes this problem; others would say it was the water! But I was always convinced that it was neither! Since we all ate the same food and we only drank bottled water, and a few of us still caught this “bug”, I decided to start to monitor the eating habits of the groups more closely! Eventually, I was able to find the real reasons for these illnesses, and they were:
1. Most of the time the meals are an open buffet. I noticed that some of the passengers ate each meal as if it was their last! What they were doing was completely changing their eating habits, causing a total overload on their stomach’s capacity. Not to mention that at least 5 to 7 items on the buffet were completely new to them. I advised them to remember that the food on the boat is actually never-ending, and they should be aware not to change their eating habits and take it easy.
2. Whenever we came back to the boat, after finishing a visit, some passengers would rush to their fully air-conditioned cabins and “crash” on their beds to rest. They forget that the air conditioning is on full power, and they are wet from walking. Here comes the danger! They easily catch a cold, and get back pain and their natural immune system becomes vulnerable, hence the sickness, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration.
So the solution was simple! I stressed to them that they should not rush to their cabins after each tour, but to try and acclimatize first, by sitting for a while in the lobby before going to their cabins, and once in their cabin, they should turn the air-conditioning off immediately, turning it back on whenever the cabin became warm.
The results were amazing! In the following weeks, most of the time, none of my group members had any illnesses.
So, dear traveler, please remember the following if you go on a cruise boat:
1. Exposure to extreme heat and cold is bad for your immune system! Please take the time to acclimatize your body before going to your cabin!
2. You know what your stomach is like! Just because you are on holiday don’t treat it differently, if you have a sensitive stomach and tend to stay to a certain type of diet, try and do the same when you are in Egypt. Err on the side of caution; you do not want to ruin a great holiday because you have eaten something you would never have tried at home. Some people are lucky, they seem to be able to consume anything and everything, and others become ill by simply looking at a different food. You may feel brave by trying something different, but sometimes you are better by being a coward and enjoying your stay. Also many forget to wash their hands before eating. this contributes a lot to the cause of the sickness.
To cure many types of diarrhea, there is an excellent antibiotic called Anitnall or Entoseed, (local drug equivalent for Immodium) which works very fast on removing the worst of the symptoms, and putting you back on your feet.-You can buy them at any pharmacy without a prescription!
THERE IS NO MALARIA IN EGYPT!
Egypt hasn’t had a malaria case in the last 50 years. Some travelers may take these tablets during their stay and don’t realize that one of the many side effects of the tablets is diarrhea!
So, my advice is not to don't take malaria tablets, simply you don't need them. I have often seen people ruin their whole trip because they were advised to take these tablets. They get diarrhea on a daily basis and end up staying in bed, while the rest of their party are out enjoying themselves! Some tourists come to Egypt to take these tablets because their doctor advised them to do so! Unfortunately, too many doctors give such advice promptly once they know that Egypt is located in Africa, So they immediately advise their patients to take these tablets, two weeks before commencing their trip.
Your Medical Care:
I would advise you to bring a supply of any medicines that you take regularly and bring the prescription too. Feel safe in the knowledge that in the unlikely event of serious trouble, your hotel or cruise boat staff will find, and provide, a doctor for you instantly.
And don't forget that is always a good idea to bring mosquito repellent for open-air night events! It helps to minimize the "mosquito annoyance factor"!