Water needs to brought to a rolling boil to kill all the important disease causing organisms. Good evidence is now available to show that there is no need to boil the water for over 3-4 minutes, specially with firewood and fuel shortages. Some hotels and restaurants may only filter their water. This is certainly not good enough for drinking as for example; hepatitis virus can pass through the filter.
WASHING HANDS (WITH SOAP):
It is important to wash your hands with soap more often than you would do at home. “Handi wipes” – are used commonly but like toilet paper if you use them on treks, please make sure you burn them or bring them back to Kathmandu to dispose of them otherwise like toilet paper the trekking areas will be littered with handy wipes which are certainly not biodegradable. Liquid soap is also very useful. On treks please carry a lighter to burn your toilet paper so as not to pollute the area. Be careful not to burn the forest/out house down!!
Before going trekking to the Himalayas make sure you familiarise yourself with the common symptoms of mountain sickness so that you may be better able to help yourself and others. AMS (acute mountain sickness) causes headache and nausea at high altitude (>2700 m). So if you are going to Lasha, Tibet or Kailash/Manasarover please take Diamox (125 mg two times per day) for 4 days, starting on day before your trip. Make sure you have no sulpha allergy before taking this drug expect tingling of your fingers and toes. The life-threatening problems at altitude are HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema)
What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes. This causes symptoms such as a headache and not feeling like eating. It happens most often when people who are not used to high altitudes go quickly from lower altitudes to 8000 ft or higher. For example, you may get a headache when you drive over a high mountain pass, hike to a high altitude, or arrive at a mountain resort.
Mild altitude sickness is common. In the United States, more than 20% of people visiting the western mountains have it.1 Experts do not know who will get it and who will not. Your age, being male or female, and how physically fit you are play no role in whether you get altitude sickness.
Altitude sickness can be dangerous. It is smart to take special care if you go high-altitude hiking or camping (like in the Rockies) or have plans for a vacation or trek in high-altitude countries like Peru, Ecuador, or Nepal.
Altitude sickness is also called acute mountain sickness.
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Travel can make you uninhibited and do things that you would never do at home. If you require emergency contraception you should contact clinics.
The medicine is: Levonorgestrel (Postinor 2) : Two tablets should be taken. The first Tablet should be taken within 5 days of unprotected sex and the second after 12 hours of first tablet. It is 60-90% effective.
Side Effects: Nausea, Vomiting, Headache, Irregular bleeding
It is wise to consult a Doctor before taking any medication