Author Topic: Getting sick while on a dive foreign vacation—what to do?+  (Read 2388 times)

DocV

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Getting sick while on a dive foreign vacation—what to do?+
« on: November 26, 2013, 17:01:42 UTC »
“Getting sick while on a dive foreign vacation—what to do?
 
Nobody plans to get ill on a dive trip, but the fact is it can happen. It will be less likely and less traumatic if you are careful and prepared.
 
Of course, the 1st step is don’t get sick, so here’s some effective preventative steps you can take: (1) Stay as far away as possible from others who appears sick (e.g., folks who are coughing, sneezing). Wash your hands frequently while traveling and keep them away from you nose, mouth and eyes; (2) In the developing world, be prudent about drinking water from the tap. Stick to bottled drinks, especially water, and make that ice you use also comes from distilled or bottled water Also, avoid unshelled fruits & vegetables. Stick to fruits with hard shells and avoid berries. If you chance it with leafy greens, they should be very well washed with clean water; (3) If you are in an area with insects, wear long sleeves and pants, avoiding dark or bright colors, especially at dawn and dusk. Try to stay indoors at dawn and dusk when many flying insects are most active. When making reservations, make sure the resort has screened windows. Wear a proven insect repellent such as full strength DEET or a picaridin-based repellant containing at least a 15% concentration. And, avoid scented toiletries and perfumes; and (4) Get necessary vaccines before departure. You can check with your PCP, but it’s very likely s/he will not be travel medicine savvy.  Alternatively, locate a travel medicine speSPAM -- ignoret through ASTMH/ACCTMTH directory (  http://www.astmh.org/source/ClinicalDirectory/ ) or my favorite little known gem, Passport Health ( http://www.passporthealthusa.com/locations/ ), to find out what’s currently being recommended for a destination(s).
 
You’ll also want to verify that your health insurance provider covers medical expenses abroad as lots don’t. Familiarize yourself with the details of your medical coverage, and especially with the process for documenting a claim (even DAN can be a problem if you don’t carefully follow the rules). If your carrier does not cover you overseas, consider purchasing traveler’s insurance. The article “How to Buy Good Travel Insurance” by Nomadic Matt will get you well oriented ( http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/travel-insurance/ ). And there’s also the DAN Travel Plan (https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/trip/ ). In addition, it’s prudent to secure an IAMAT (International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers) membership ( http://www.iamat.org/ ). It’s free and the organization maintains a network of approved health professionals throughout the world who offer services to travelers at a fixed rate.

If you do end up sick, promptly head to a designated medical facility per your insurance coverage or IAMAT recommendations. You can also call the local embassy or consulate thru 00 1 202-501-4444 or visit the websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions ( http://www.usembassy.gov/) for the names of recommended local medical providers.
 
Stay healthy and know before you go.
 
DocVikingo”


Ann

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here's what to do
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 16:50:23 UTC »
Thanks, "Doc".  Here are ways to help get rid of the bacteria once you have it!  As a recent charter on the Tambora in Indonesia proved, go prepared!  (there was/is giardia in the water onboard, not sure if it's the "tap" water or the bottled water)

Even with a great immune system, once you ingest a bacteria you haven't seen before, it can get ugly.  You need to get those things OUT, build up your intestinal flora, and by all means, don't feed them.  This is how to get rid of the unfriendlies ...
  • Take probiotics with you, lots of 'em.  I recommend HealthForce Nutritionals probiotics, as it doesn't have to be refrigerated.  Take it daily, and if you do ingest something, you can take these as often as you need to.  I was taking it every two hours until I got home!  This will make you feel better immediately, and help fight the bad bugs with the good ones.  It also builds up the immune system.
  • Coconut oil.  Take it with you!  It is great for your hair, your skin, and is a natural antibacterial and antifungal.  It will melt above about 75 degrees, so you can just pour some into your mouth a couple of times a day.
  • Take your travel enema kit!  This is the quickest way to flush out the bugs that have taken up residence.  I use Zeolite powder (wheatgrass powder is also good) in the enema bag to speed up the process.
  • Take water purification drops and a Brita water bottle.  You'll need to drink a lot of water, whether you're sick or not.  If you do get sick, you still need to stay hydrated, but want to make sure you're not drinking in more bacteria.  After I managed to consume some giardia, I put ALL the water I drank into my Brita water bottle after that, and also used Adya Clarity drops.  You have to keep drinking!
  • The less you can eat, the better.  If you can stick to filtered water until you feel better, it will resolve much faster.  Fresh juice (I chose watermelon) is also OK, as long as it doesn't make you feel worse.  Bugs usually love sugar and processed non-foods (crackers, bread, cookies), so avoid those.  After a couple of days, you may be OK with rice or fruit.
  • Take something for nausea, and if you want to, something for diarrhea if it gets extreme.  I used Boiron's Nux Vomica for nausea. 
  • Keep in mind that antibiotics will usually make things WORSE.  Until you know what type of bug you have, you don't want to kill all your good bacteria, so hold off on antibiotics until you see a doctor (if you even need to).
  • Vaccines are a personal choice, and I choose not to get them.  There is always a better way.

Santa Klaus

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Re: Getting sick while on a dive foreign vacation—what to do?+
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 10:32:58 UTC »
Dear diving friends,
why are you going on dive trips, when your whole thinking is about getting sick. There is no fun in it. I have been diving for more than 40 years all over the world, stayed with the local food and felt great. And if there is no bottled water, there is always a possibility to cook it beforehand. People who think about getting sick will become sick. Just go diving and have fun.  :)

crif

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Re: Getting sick while on a dive foreign vacation—what to do?+
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 14:31:46 UTC »
Thanks, "Doc".  Here are ways to help get rid of the bacteria once you have it!  As a recent charter on the Tambora in Indonesia proved, go prepared!  (there was/is giardia in the water onboard, not sure if it's the "tap" water or the bottled water)

Even with a great immune system, once you ingest a bacteria you haven't seen before, it can get ugly.  You need to get those things OUT, build up your intestinal flora, and by all means, don't feed them.  This is how to get rid of the unfriendlies ...
  • Take probiotics with you, lots of 'em.  I recommend HealthForce Nutritionals probiotics, as it doesn't have to be refrigerated.  Take it daily, and if you do ingest something, you can take these as often as you need to.  I was taking it every two hours until I got home!  This will make you feel better immediately, and help fight the bad bugs with the good ones.  It also builds up the immune system.
  • Coconut oil.  Take it with you!  It is great for your hair, your skin, and is a natural antibacterial and antifungal.  It will melt above about 75 degrees, so you can just pour some into your mouth a couple of times a day.
  • Take your travel enema kit!  This is the quickest way to flush out the bugs that have taken up residence.  I use Zeolite powder (wheatgrass powder is also good) in the enema bag to speed up the process.
  • Take water purification drops and a Brita water bottle.  You'll need to drink a lot of water, whether you're sick or not.  If you do get sick, you still need to stay hydrated, but want to make sure you're not drinking in more bacteria.  After I managed to consume some giardia, I put ALL the water I drank into my Brita water bottle after that, and also used Adya Clarity drops.  You have to keep drinking!
  • The less you can eat, the better.  If you can stick to filtered water until you feel better, it will resolve much faster.  Fresh juice (I chose watermelon) is also OK, as long as it doesn't make you feel worse.  Bugs usually love sugar and processed non-foods (crackers, bread, cookies), so avoid those.  After a couple of days, you may be OK with rice or fruit.
  • Take something for nausea, and if you want to, something for diarrhea if it gets extreme.  I used Boiron's Nux Vomica for nausea. 
  • Keep in mind that antibiotics will usually make things WORSE.  Until you know what type of bug you have, you don't want to kill all your good bacteria, so hold off on antibiotics until you see a doctor (if you even need to).
  • Vaccines are a personal choice, and I choose not to get them.  There is always a better way.



Found very useful tips by Doc V and Ann. Thank you very much for your time.

 

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