Prevention is the best precaution when traveling. Before you depart,
check with your physician and follow his or her recommendations.
to any major trip check to make sure that your vaccinations are
up-to-date. Your basic checklist for any trip to Asia should include
tetanus, hepatitis A, TB, typhoid and polio. If you are spending
a long time in China or visiting more remote areas consider the
following - influenza, Hepatitis B, meningitis, Japanese B encephalitis
and rabies. Visitors to south and south west China may need to consider
a course of anti-malarials.
departing check the latest situation for the region in which you
will be traveling. A good web site for advisories is the Center
for Disease Control.
regions in China, including Tibet, Xinjiang, Sichuan and Yunnan
are at high altitudes. If traveling to these areas beware of the
effect of altitude on health. It can take days or weeks to acclimatize
to higher altitudes. It is a good idea to refrain from arduous exercise
or trekking until you are acclimatized. It may be helpful to check
with you physician prior to leaving, to discuss precautions and
standard of medical care and medication varies throughout China,
but facilities in major cities are generally good. If you take any
medication on a regular basis, bring enough to last through your
trip. Pack your prescriptions with your medications to avoid any
problems at customs. You may wish to consider travel insurance with
To avoid illness a few easy precautions can be taken. Wash your
hands frequently. Do not drink water that has not been boiled and
when in doubt drink bottled water. Freezing does not purify water.
Before drinking anything with ice, make sure the ice was made with
bottled or boiled water. Fruits and vegetables should be washed
thoroughly in purified water, peeled or boiled. Undercooked meat
and most shellfish should be avoided.
major complaint of travelers is traveler's diarrhea. This condition
is generally caused by a change in diet or contaminated food or
water. You may want to bring an over the counter anti-diarrhea medication,
such as Imodium, to deal with the symptoms. For most complaints
it is best to seek professional advice as self-diagnosis is risky.
in China tend to be of the squat variety. They rarely come with
paper. Keeping a supply of tissues on you is a good idea.