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Health & safety in Tanzania

Health & safety in Tanzania

Old Dec 23rd 2004, 2:25 am
  #1  
jhiker
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Default Health & safety in Tanzania

I'm off to Tanzania in the New Year and it'll be my first time to
Africa.
Now - I know about the importance of drinking only bottled, boiled or
treated water, but what I want to know is this....

Is it safe to swim in a hotel swimming pool?

Is it safe to take a shower in the hotel?

...that is to say, if I ingest 'pool' or 'shower' water am I at risk?

Is it OK to do both of the above as long as you keep your mouth shut!
Thanks in advance.
 
Old Dec 24th 2004, 11:13 pm
  #2  
Herb Miedema
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Default Re: Health & safety in Tanzania

Yes, you're at risk. But just don't swallow it. One sip won't make you sick,
two will give you the shits and three will make you sick. Just take care but
don't go overboard. Thousands of people actually live there, you know.

Herb

<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected] ups.com...
    > I'm off to Tanzania in the New Year and it'll be my first time to
    > Africa.
    > Now - I know about the importance of drinking only bottled, boiled or
    > treated water, but what I want to know is this....
    > Is it safe to swim in a hotel swimming pool?
    > Is it safe to take a shower in the hotel?
    > ...that is to say, if I ingest 'pool' or 'shower' water am I at risk?
    > Is it OK to do both of the above as long as you keep your mouth shut!
    > Thanks in advance.
    >




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Old Dec 25th 2004, 8:04 am
  #3  
Liz
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Default Re: Health & safety in Tanzania

In message <[email protected]>
"Herb Miedema" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Yes, you're at risk. But just don't swallow it. One sip won't make you sick,
    > two will give you the shits and three will make you sick. Just take care but
    > don't go overboard. Thousands of people actually live there, you know.
Herb's right.
Keep your mouth shut in the shower and pool and you'll be OK.
If you're staying in a lodge or "luxury tented camp" you'll get a flask of
safe water in your room.
If you're on a private safari, when you meet your driver ask him to take you
to buy water *"at African prices*". (Sometimes drinking water is included in
the cost of your safari, but not always.)

Remember to clean your teeth using safe water: it's very easy to forget
(auto-drive!)

Safari njema

Liz

--
Virtual Liz now at http://www.v-liz.com
Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Seychelles; Galapagos
"I speak of Africa and golden joys"
 
Old Dec 27th 2004, 1:18 am
  #4  
Hans-Georg Michna
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Default Re: Health & safety in Tanzania

On 23 Dec 2004 07:25:58 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

    >I'm off to Tanzania in the New Year and it'll be my first time to
    >Africa.
    >Now - I know about the importance of drinking only bottled, boiled or
    >treated water, but what I want to know is this....
    >Is it safe to swim in a hotel swimming pool?
    >Is it safe to take a shower in the hotel?
    >...that is to say, if I ingest 'pool' or 'shower' water am I at risk?
    >Is it OK to do both of the above as long as you keep your mouth shut!
    >Thanks in advance.

You already got good advice, though I think that people tend to
be slightly over-cautious here.

Let me add a few remarks on the sidelines. The risks of swimming
pools and showers are negligible, compared to the risk of
upsetting your digestion in other ways. I'm pretty sure the main
causes of this frequent occurrence are neither swimming pools
nor showers, but the food you get to eat.

You have to consider three phenomena in Africa.

1. The people handling and preparing the food aren't used to the
same level of cleanliness that's typical for hotels in
industrialized countries. On top of that, fridges and freezers
(like many other technical devices) are not always working
perfectly in Africa.

2. Germs multiply quickly in the warm climate.

3. When you're exposed to heat, you sweat and drink more (which
you should, within reason). Depending on your typus and on your
habits, this may lead to more liquid in your intestines, which
allows even normally harmless microbes to spread throughout your
intestines and can cause diarrhea. Unless you pick up some much
worse germs, this is usually not dangerous, just inconvenient.

And here are my recommendations, if you find that you are
susceptible.

* Drink enough, but don't overdo it either.
* Try to avoid sweating, i.e. stay in the shade, keep car
windows open to get cooling wind, etc.
* Don't eat anything that doesn't look, smell, and taste
perfectly good.
* Do not eat salads. If you don't want to obey that stricly, at
least eat little salad and try to avoid stuff that has a very
large surface, but little volume, like salad leaves. The germs
are on the surface.
* Be careful with ice cream. Perhaps avoid it.
* Don't eat much. Eat quite small portions. (If you happen to be
overweight, use this as a welcome opportunity to lose a little
weight).
* Prefer food that is very easily digestible, i.e. bread,
pudding, things like that. Don't eat much meat.
* Eat slowly, chew a little longer. Anything that helps your
digestion is good. Try to enjoy the good food you usually get in
the lodges while being careful.
* Don't drink very much with the food. Try to drink at other
times. Drink at most one glass before eating and one after.
Drink more after the meal has at least partly left your stomach,
i.e. a few hours later.
* Of course, if you get thirsty and feel dehydrated (dry mouth,
feeling weak, or even rising body temperature, etc.) then drink
as much as necessary to counteract that and allow sweating. Not
drinking enough can be dangerous. If this happens, eat even less
or skip a meal. Eat again when it's cool, like in the evening.

All of these hints are not scientifically proven. I invented
them. The work for me and for some others. They don't work for
everyone. People who are used to drinking a lot anyway may not
need most of them. They may be wrong. But they may be helpful.

Further afield, if you like, read a little into
http://www.michna.com/kenya.htm . The page contains, among other
information, some useful checklists for what to take along.

Hans-Georg

p.s. I've added an edited version of this message to the web
page.

--
No mail, please.
 

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