Clean safe drinking water is something that many of us in the developed world take for granted. Unfortunately this is not the case for most of the world population.
Traveling to countries where the safety of drinking water is suspect you should boil or disinfect and filter water that is to be used for drinking, food preparation, or even to brush your teeth.
Microscopic parasites that can be found in water. Giardia and Cryptosporidium are two of these parasites that can be found in untreated water. Even municipal water can be suspect and authorities will issue a boil water alert. Giardia causes an intestinal illness called giardiasis or “beaver fever.” Cryptosporidium is responsible for a similar illness called cryptosporidiosis.
Diarrhea, gas, malaise, abdominal cramps and weight loss are the most common symptoms caused by these parasites. Vomiting, headache, fever and chills also occur. These symptoms usually manifest from 2 to 25 days after the initial contact and can continue as long as one month. In healthy individuals the symptoms clear after about a month.
Being very ill is not the way you want to spend your long-awaited vacation. Ros and I don’t take chances. Before we leave we take DukOral which helps protect you from cholera and E.coili bacteria the most common cause of “travelers diarrhea. We also always prefer to drink bottled water. If the situation occurs when bottled water is not available we use water filters.
We use Katadyn® Exstream Water Bottles that have a built in replaceable water filter. On a long hike it is nice to be able to recharge our water supply rather than have to hump the extra weight.
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