You schmucks can scream Mera Bharat Mahaan and India Shining till you are hoarse but India stands tall on the global stage only for all the wrong things.
Like for instance, travel diarrhea, rape, frequent random violence, treatment of minorities, extra-judicial murders by the police (encounters) et al.
In this post, we intend to examine the danger travel diarrhea a.k.a. Delhi Belly poses to travelers making the mistake of visiting India.
India continues to be one of the highest risk countries in the world for travelers ending up with travel diarrhea.
What is Travel Diarrhea
UK’s Health Protection Agency defines travel diarrhea as:
Three or more unformed stools in a 24 hour period, often accompanied by at least one of the following: fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps, tenesmus, or bloody stools (dysentery), with symptoms usually starting during or shortly after a period of foreign travel.
While rarely fatal, travel diarrhea can, however, be a very unpleasant experience and ruin your vacation or business trip.
Travel diarrhea can be caused by bacteria (like Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp, Shigella spp and Campylobacter spp), protozoa (Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, Cyclospora spp) and viruses (norovirus).
Travel Diarrhea – India Stands Tall
A recent report by the Health Protection Agency finds that India had the highest number of Delhi Belly victims (581) for travelers from England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2008 and the second highest rate (64.85).
HPA Advice to Travelers on Preventing Diarrhea
• Wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food; if soap and water is not
available, carry alcohol hand gel with you.
• Investigate the destination before you go; is the tap water safe to drink? If it is not, then do not drink
it or use it for cleaning your teeth. Avoid ice in drinks.
• Make sure any food you eat has been recently prepared, is properly cooked and piping hot. Avoid raw
fruit and vegetables unless you know they have been washed in clean water or peeled yourself.
• Practise good swimming pool hygiene. Do not swim if you have diarrhoea and make sure any babies and young children wear suitable swimwear while in the pool. Take care not to swallow any swimming pool water.
Of course, if you ask the wise souls at SearchIndia.com, the best and safest thing travelers can do to avoid Delhi Belly is to strike India off their itinerary.