A trip to Mexico is often an exhilarating experience. There are many different sites that are exclusive to Mexico. Such sights include Mexico’s pristine beaches, various archaeological dig sites, and countless others. One common unfortunate experience while in Mexico, however, is the contraction of Montezuma’s Revenge, also known as Traveler’s Diarrhea. Fortunately, there are four ways to prevent it.

It is important for all travelers to understand and be aware of all potential travel diseases. Montezuma’s Revenge affects nearly fifty percent of all global travelers, who visit third world countries, each year. This disease is caused by an infection in the digestive tract by the e.coli bacteria. Typical symptoms of this disease include increased weight, volume, and frequency of stool, nearly twelve loose stools a day, cramps in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and fever. When serious, this disease can lead to hospitalization. The most effective treatment for this particular disease is only time itself.

The first step to prevent begins with avoiding the water. Drinking tap water is oftentimes only safe for the citizens of that country because their digestive tracts are already attuned to the bacteria present in the water. It is foolish to think that you have the same digestive strengths as the locals who live there on a regular basis. If drinking the tap water is the only means for water, then you must boil it first for at least ten minutes. Even simple acts as brushing your teeth require the use of complete bacteria-free water. Other precautions that travels should take are to avoid salads at restaurants and pre-opened bottles of water for these are easy ways for small amounts of tap water to enter your body.

The only way to completely protect yourself is to do everything yourself. Although cumbersome, this process means that all fruits consumed must be washed with bottled water by you and all restaurant food must be cooked in some form before consumed. It is simply not enough to inquire about the food handling process at each restaurant.

One of the easiest ways to prevent contracting Montezuma’s Revenge is to not eat from any street vendor. Although the temptation of cheap, local food might tempt you to purchase it, this food is probably the most dangerous you can consume. You have no idea how the food was prepared or even if cooked thoroughly. This food must be avoided at all costs.

The final prevention method is to avoid places that serve rewarmed food. Unfortunately, rewarming food doesn’t kill bacteria—in fact, bacteria form as the food cools. Thus any rewarmed food is almost guaranteed for sickness.

Here are a few recapped tips that can help you prevent any holiday illness. When traveling, some safe items are food that is freshly prepared and served hot, meat that is cooked well done, fruits only handled by you, bread and baked goods, hot beverages, bottled water, and canned food or drinks. Avoid tap water, local ice, cold salads, buffets, food by vendors, or any rewarmed food.

A trip to Mexico can be very enjoyable and the best way to ensure that is to stay healthy with these simple travel tips.

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