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getting sick out there

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
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california
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getting sick out there

what is the best advice out there for keeping yourself free from stomach problems. what are some good preventative measures and perhaps some home remedies in case one does get hit with stomach problems....i will be traveling in mexico for a little over a week and don't want to ruin my vacation. i have too many family members that have traveled to mexico and have ended up sick for several days, some have even ended up in the hospital...yikes! any extra advice when traveling with children???

Granite Bay...
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1. Re: getting sick out there

I was in San Miguel with my family for 3 weeks in July. I've visited Mexico many times in the past, and taken some chances with what I ate, and never got sick. This time I was relatively careful and got sick twice in the first week! I think the problem was that I was shopping at the market, and vendors would give me fruit to taste and I might have picked it up there. Or maybe once I got my fruit and veggies home and poured a sink to disinfect them, I put all the food in but forgot to wash my hands after? I think it has something to do with the cooking itself, because most of my family (except for my daughter) did not get sick. Or maybe I'm getting more susceptible as I get older???

Anyway, if you do get sick, don't let it be a big deal!! I took Kaomyacin (from a drugstore in Mexico) right away to solve the 'symptoms' and drank a lot of water to help clear out my system and replenish fluids. Though I was really tired from spending a good part of the night in the bathroom, and definitely not feeling 100%, I continued on with our travel schedule, taking a (abbreviated ) day trip to Queretaro the first time, and entertaining visitors the 2nd time. I felt under the weather for a day, but was back to normal the next day. My 12 yr old daughter also got sick but with the Kaomyacin was back to normal after a day.

So my recommendation is to be careful if you're cooking - disinfect your fruits/veggies, and be sure to wash your hands often, and don't taste what is offered to you in the market. And if you do get sick, drink lots of water and take Kaomyacin!

Of course all the usual stuff too - drink bottled water (even brush your teeth with it), don't eat food from street vendors etc.

Good luck!

california
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2. Re: getting sick out there

thank you for the great advice. i will stay away from the market vendors. although its hard for me to refuse a free sample. better to be cautious than to ruin my first trip to guanajuato. thanks once again for your advice:)

Queretaro,Qro.
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3. Re: getting sick out there

Exercise some caution and enjoy the wonderful foods that are prepared here in Mexico.

Wash your hands frequently and always before eating, ... with soap and water...don't dry them on a dirty towel . You could use hand sanitizer or baby wipes.

Take acidophillus / bifidus the good bacteria, starting...now... before it happens, to build up your resistance.....available at all pharmacies here.

Eat when Mexicans do, for example.. Carnitas at 10.30/11am, lunch at 2pm, dinner is late.

Follow the crowds... the locals know and they don't want to get sick either.

Watch what it is that you're eating. Wash fruits and vegetables with clean water and a drop of something like Microdyn. Don't eat mixtures that are sitting out in casserole dishes then stuffed into gorditas and tacos, unless you KNOW that it was just made and it's hot. And we all know about mayonnaise mixtures too don't we?

If you get the urge to vomit... do... right away ... to stop it before it goes through.

This is serious stuff. If you do get sick,

Drink 3 to 4 liters of water a day. Replace your electrolytes. Don't try to stop your body's natural reaction until the invader is completely out.

Rest.

Stay warm.

Don't pass it on. It's all through your body now.

If it persists more than one day, ask a pharmacist or get to a doctor.

Stay sharp and enjoy your trip.

florida33957
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4. Re: getting sick out there

WOW! After reading Truenortherner's long scary reply even I could start to think twice about coming. Not that it wasn't all good advice, but let's not be hysterical. Visiting Mexico and enjoying its food is not only possible, but a true joy.

Rumba

5. Re: getting sick out there

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Washington, DC
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954 posts
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6. Re: getting sick out there

I've never gotten food poisoning, but I have persistent, mild diarrhea whenever I go to Mexico. To help treat this, I take one preventative dose of Pepto-Bismol every day. (NOTE: I spread one single dose out so it lasts an entire day... I never take the maximum daily dose.)...when things get bad, I take 2 doses a day.

This gives me stomach cramps, but it fixes the problem.

(note that using Pepto-Bismol for more than 3 days is "off-label" use, so be careful. this is why I don't take more than 2 doses a day)

San Miguel de...
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7. Re: getting sick out there

Quite a bit of anecdotal nonsence re: illness in Mexico on many forums and not a great deal of professional advice.

We have lived here since May '03, and never had a GI problem.

M

inverness, fl
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8. Re: getting sick out there

mikemo,

How true, how true!

Indianapolis
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125 reviews
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9. Re: getting sick out there

I have been to Mexico for extended trips several times and ironically usually become ill with diarrea when I return to the U.S.!! I was in Guanajuato and Michoacan this past summer. A few stomach cramps that Pepto took care of, but nothing major.

Mexico is a culinary delight... You don't want to miss out. Do be smart. I have had fruit from the market in Gto., homemade street ice cream in Dolores Hidalgo (they are known all over for it!), a delicious shrimp dish in an outdoor fish restaurant in Leon, etc. Just look at the sanitation of the stalls and follow and ask locals. This is still no guarantee... We get sick from food in our own country.

I did have e.coli poisoning once, according to the dr., but I ate the same food as others most of the time and they didn't have problems. So, it's an interesting world and you can't let a fear stop you.... What's worse??? NEVER getting to experience a gorgeous, hospitable country? .....Or experiencing one of the greatest places w/ a POSSIBLE few days of discomfort?

San Miguel de...
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10. Re: getting sick out there

When I mention onions/fresh salsas as perhaps the culprits, folks think I'm nuts, but just look at the HEP A outbreaks in EUA.

We have Hep A and B.

Geez, I have to get another Yellow Fever; Td; IPV shortly.

Most GI illness is viral and may be avoided by good sanitary stuff - we were on Celebrity Millennium in May and virtually no one used the hand sanitizers and many men didn't wash hands after using the rest room - Millennium had a Norovirus outbreak recently!

Drink bottled water and follow the crowds as Mexicanos are fresh and clean freaks.

M