FOOD- AND WATER-BORNE DISEASES
Unpeeled fruit and vegetables and tap water should be safe in most of Western Europe. In Southern and Eastern Europe, be cautious of ice cubes and anything washed in tap water, like salad. Other sources of illness are raw meat, shellfish, unpasteurized milk, and sauces containing raw eggs. Buy bottled water, or purify your own water by bringing it to a rolling boil or treating it with iodine tablets.
Traveler’s diarrhea: Results from drinking untreated water or eating uncooked foods. Symptoms include nausea, bloating, and urgency. Try quick-energy, non-sugary foods with protein and carbohydrates to keep your strength up. Over-the-counter antidiarrhe- als (e.g. Imodium) may counteract the problems. The most dangerous side effect is dehydration; drink sweetened, uncaffeinated beverages, and eat salted crackers. If you develop a fever or your symptoms don’t go away after 4-5 days, consult a doctor. Con sult a doctor immediately for treatment of diarrhea in children.
Mad Cow Disease: The human variant, Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD), is an invari ably fatal brain disease. Even in the UK, where the risk is highest, only 1 in 10 billion servings of meat are contaminated. Milk and milk products do not pose a risk. Parasites: Microbes, tapeworms, etc. that hide in unsafe water and food. Giardiasis, for example, is acquired by drinking untreated water from streams or lakes. Symptoms include swollen glands or lymph nodes, fever, rashes or itchiness, and digestive prob lems. To avoid parasites, boil water, wear shoes, and eat only cooked food.