- Avoid raw fruits (unless you wash and peel them yourself), raw
vegetables, and raw or undercooked meat and seafood.
- Try to eat steaming hot, well-cooked
- Don't get foods or drinks from
- Make sure dairy products have been pasteurized.
To learn more, see the topic
Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling.
Swimming and water sports
Swimming in contaminated fresh water, such as
ponds or rivers, can expose you to diseases. Even swimming pools with
inadequate chlorination pose a risk. Talk to your doctor if you plan on doing
recreational water sports—such as white-water rafting, adventure racing, or
kayaking—in tropical and backcountry regions.
To prevent fungal or
parasitic infections and injuries, do not go barefoot. Try to keep your feet as
clean and dry as possible.
Although sea water is usually safe
from disease, swimming or diving in sea water can still be dangerous. Avoid
swimming or wading in sea water near a river, estuary, or other outlet from
inland. Swimming when you have an open cut or sore can also increase your risk
of getting an infection. In developing countries, sea water around big cities
and other populated areas may not be safe. For more information, see the topic
Marine Stings and Scrapes.
Mosquitoes, flies, fleas,
and ticks all spread disease. These diseases include malaria, Lyme disease,
West Nile fever,
yellow fever, and dengue fever.
is the insect-borne disease of most concern to travelers in tropical and
subtropical regions. Although antimalarial medicines kill the malaria parasite
in the bloodstream, this protection isn't complete. Take protective measures
along with taking antimalarial medicine.
Ticks inhabit many regions, including Europe, Canada, and
the United States. Although it is rare for travelers to
contract diseases from ticks, some of the diseases are serious. For
information on how to prevent tick bites, see the
Here are some tips that can help you avoid mosquitoes and other insects:
DEET or other insect repellents on your skin.
- Sleep under a bed net to prevent insects from biting you while you sleep. Permethrin or
deltamethrin insecticide sprayed on bed nets will protect against mosquitoes
for weeks to months.
- Use mosquito coils. The smoke from these slow-burning coils repels mosquitoes.
- Wear light-colored and
loose-fitting long pants and long-sleeved shirts. This is especially important from dusk to dawn,
when mosquitoes that spread malaria bite. Insect repellent applied to clothing
is effective for longer than it may be on the skin.
Do not use home remedies like eating garlic, rubbing garlic on your
skin, or taking vitamin B. They do not prevent bites.