Travel-Related Illness: Taking Revenge on Montezuma's Revenge
WebMD Live Events Transcript
You have a great trip planned, but do you know what travel-related illnesses you might face and how they may be prevented? Before Montezuma takes his revenge on you, read what travel medicine expert Herbert L. DuPont, MD had to say about the latest prevention tips and treatment options. He joined us on July 15, 2004.
The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
There are other issues we could talk about. One of the things that's important is that non-seasoned travelers from the U.S. go to Mexico. They don't go to Katmandu or to Cairo, but they go to Mexico. That's problem number one. The other thing about travel to a developing place like Mexico is the regard for public safety that we are accustomed to in the U.S. is missing. There won't be guardrails, there will be huge holes in the sidewalk, wires stretched between buildings at eye level, cars drive too fast, and when you cross the street it's a challenge. Sometimes it even appears the cars are aiming at people. So the first thing I say to people is exercise extreme caution, because accidents continue to be the most serious problems we see in travelers.
There are some other medical problems in Mexico. Many of the cities are at high altitude and travelers from lower altitudes can have symptoms that include lightheadedness, tiredness, muscle aches and pains, and increased intestinal gas at the higher altitudes. Another problem is, surprisingly, constipation. The roughage in the diet in Mexico and many other countries is lacking. People don't drink as much fluids as usual, and the net result is constipation. I think these are the major problems in a country like Mexico for a traveler.