Travel Health Zone - How safe is water abroad?

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How safe is water abroad?

In the West it is often assumed that all water is clean and safe to drink, but when travelling overland through under developed countries this is definitely not the case. In some instances treated water that arrives at the tap can be more polluted than it is at its source. Most hotels, restaurants and cafes use untreated water, regardless of what they tell you and that you have little natural resistance to the bacteria carried in contaminated water. Therefore, under no circumstances is it advisable to drink untreated water, use it for oral hygiene or use ice made from untreated water in drinks. However, you should not become hysterical about avoiding all water whilst travelling abroad. Just be sensible and aware that no matter how hard you try you will almost certainly pick-up something, and that overtime you should develop some resistance to common stomach bugs.


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Information published on this website is not a substitute for professional medical care or advice but should be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A Doctor should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

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