Food Poisoning on the Road

Nothing ruins a good trip more than barfing on a country’s national treasure. Or so it seemed several years ago when
I was traveling in Mexico and a buddy of mine who had decided it was a good idea to drink an odd-colored bag o’ juice
from a street vendor got his comeuppance and let go of his stomach’s content on the steps of a famous Mayan

Every traveler knows that you need to be careful what you eat and drink when you are abroad. Bottled water is a
necessity, and even then you have to be sure that the lid is sealed properly lest you find yourself sipping rancid agua
that some enterprising vendor put into an illegally recycled bottle. Remember the rule of the hungry traveler: “Boil
it, cook it, peel it or forget it.”

But what if you lapse into forgetfulness? Or simply can’t hold yourself back from trying those wonderful-smelling
puris that appear to have been sitting out a while. A few hours later, the stomach churns like an Amish butter queen on
speed and you find yourself singing an aria to the porcelain gods. Or worse, like my friend, splattering the
millennia-old Vishnu statue with your partially digested lunch.

Here’s an informative page from the
National Institute of Health about food poisoning that offers suggestions and tips for avoiding and treating food
poisoning. This one
gives a break down of a few of the nasties who might be inhabiting your stomach, and how you can determine what to do
should you have one of the inside you (hopefully you’ve not been impregnated by an alien). A
similar piece provides more detail on some
of the more common travel ailments.

If you find yourself sick abroad, you can call up a service like Medex
, which allows travelers who have registered online or by phone to get assistance from anywhere in the
world. You’ll deal with a real doctor who can help diagnose your problem and The service sots about $4 a day, but you
get round-the-clock coverage and insurance for up to $100,000 in expenses for emergency evacuation and medical