All-Inclusive in Egypt and tummy bugs!!!

(28 Posts)
Bomper Fri 09-Aug-13 08:28:37

We are off on holiday to Egypt in a couple of days and I am panicking now as so many people have be warning me about awful tummy bugs!! Any advice on how to avoid them? I have heard the money is filthy? Is this true? TIA x

vixsatis Fri 09-Aug-13 08:41:17

I go to Egypt a lot; and it is the only place where I tend to get ill.

Take all the usual precautions (no salad, peel fruit, avoid food which has been sitting around=treat buffets with extreme caution, clean teeth with mineral water, no ice in drinks, no squeezed juices because they will probably have been diluted with filthy water, wash hands often etc.).

My personal, slightly mad but it seems to help, tip is to have baths rather than showers as a way of minimising the risk of swallowing/inhaling water

If you're only there for a couple of days you should be home before the worst kicks in! Have fun

mimbleandlittlemy Fri 09-Aug-13 10:29:11

One of the most common causes of 'tummy bugs' in places like Egypt/Turkey and other really hot destinations is people coming in from outside where it's 40 degrees and drinking ice cold drinks, it puts the stomach in to total shock and within hours you've got severe cramping and the runs. Keep a bottle of cool/tepid water that you can quench thirst with and save the really cold drinks until your body has come back down to a more normal temperature.

The other is people just not staying out of the sun between 12 - 3. Do remember this is Africa in August and a symptom of sunstroke is v&d.

As vix says, no ice cubes, careful with salads, peel fruit. Make sure meat is well cooked.

I've travelled extensively in Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco and only been ill in Morocco from under-cooked egg which I knew I shouldn't have been eating so totally my own fault. I eat street food, eat in local restaurants and certainly have showers. Never been ill from a shower, even in Luxor when I had cockroaches dropping on my head.

It is perfectly safe to dip your toothbrush in the tap water, just don't drink it or rinse with it. The water is not intrinsically poisonous - but our bodies are used to our home bacteria not the ones the Egyptians are used to.

If there is any chance at all you can get the Hep A shot before you go that also lends you protection.

HoikyPoiky Fri 09-Aug-13 11:00:23

Try to avoid any food that may have been 'hanging around'. Freshly cooked is the way to go.
I travelled around India and South America on a shoe string budget and managed not to get ill by eating a lot of chips, omelettes and fried meats. My friends teased me for being so fussy but I had the last laugh as I was the only one not to get sick.

Rice is a bad choice - unless its been cooked freshly. (Campylobacter)

If it is a reasonable hotel you should be fine.

Bomper Fri 09-Aug-13 11:05:57

Thanks everyone, my sister always avoids rice and I used to laugh at her!! Looks like I was the fool!!

girlywhirly Fri 09-Aug-13 15:08:55

One of the best things you can do is to use antibacterial gel on your hands, especially before you eat. You may have just washed your hands, but before you get to the restaurant you may well have touched door handles/money etc which are dirty.

DH and I were on a cruise excursion and the party had lunch at a 5* hotel in Giza, as we queued for the buffet, a staff member went along each person in turn and disinfected their hands! The food was fine.

If you do get ill, the Egyptian doctors tend to over-medicate. The stuff they give you is highly effective apparently.

WitchOfEndor Fri 09-Aug-13 15:15:20

Agree with the money being absolutely filthy, but going AI works in your favour as you are much less likely to be handling it. Use antibacterial spray or wipes after touching the money especially before eating. Avoid chills/ shock to your system by using the air con as little as possible and not having ice in drinks and not diving straight into pools. Avoid sunbathing at the hottest part of the day. We worked this out over 5 holidays in Egypt and never get upset stomachs now.

frogsareace Fri 09-Aug-13 15:25:42

imodium - holiday essential.

The money is, IMO, the dirtiest in the world. I went to Egypt with my mum years ago.
I got some currency from a friend, gave half to my mum who promptly washed it so she didn't get germs hmm. Did she seriously think the Egyptian people would be kind enough to do the same with her change?
Anti bac handwash is the thing, even wet wipes would help.

Supertrooper88 Sun 11-Aug-13 02:26:23

I pack anti bacterial wipes (like Flash wipes) and upon arrival in hotel room wipe handles, switches, surfaces, taps etc etc - pretty much everything - doors the lot.

Have hand sanitiser with you at all times and use frequently.

Take rehydration sachets with you and be realistic about the fact you may need 2 a day for most of your holiday should the worse happen.

Vaseline for your bum - for when it feels like you are passing battery acid on day 3 of having the squits.

Immodium - not just the crap 6 pack you get in chemists. You need a large pack. 6 tablets will only last a day or a day and a half. However, its always good to poo the bug out if you can. I am not suggesting you dont take immodium but if its tolerable - try and lay off taking it until you have emptied initially.

I've spent a lot of time in Egypt and only got sick once. Avoid ice, salad etc. drink LOTS of water (3l+) and at least 2 dioralyte a day. Most tummy bugs are actually dehydration.
The local pharmacy will stock Antinal which is a stomach antiseptic and is magic! I also have a lemon juice in water every day - it's a natural antiseptic.
Enjoy thanks

PeriodMath Sun 11-Aug-13 04:27:03

Goodness it sounds appealing based on these responses - not!

Why go at all? Is it because it's hot and cheap? confused

I go because its a gorgeous country with great food, beautiful people and stunning diving. biscuit

Awakeagain Sun 11-Aug-13 07:16:20

Check with the hotel with regards to ice and salad
We stayed at an all inclusive in sharm who made ice from mineral water and washed the salad in mineral water

Imodium didnt work for us
Quick trip to the local chemist will sort you right out with the magic tablets you needwink (think we had the same ones as mentioned up the thread!)

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 11-Aug-13 07:19:42

Everywhere I go I get tummy bugs. Apart from when I went to Egypt.

I think it was because I was expecting it so was hyper-vigilante:

- used bottled water to brush teeth
- used anti-bac gel on hands a lot
- didn't have ice in my drinks
- no salad
- chose the cooked-in-front-of-you options at the buffet

It was a lovely holiday, we enjoyed it so much we are returning soon.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 11-Aug-13 07:54:04

Vigilant, not vigalante! blush

Everyone I know who has been to Egypt has been ill, it's like a badge of honour. Some of these replies make it sound like a war zone.
I cannot imagine why anyone would choose to go on a precious holiday where there is such a high risk of illness?

beeny Sun 11-Aug-13 17:10:49

I have a very sensitive stomach and i have never been ill in Egypt and eat a lot of rice.

Trills Sun 11-Aug-13 17:21:24

We have decided not to go back to Egypt because if we were to have no salad and no ice in drinks and follow all of the other rules we would also have no fun.

specialsubject Sun 11-Aug-13 17:30:34

eat local-style if possible. Hotel buffets with ice cream and western-style salads in those temperatures are asking for trouble.

wash hands frequently. Eat only freshly cooked food.

Trills ^^
We just had a luxury holiday in Cyprus and I never gave a thought to eating salad / ice cream or having ice cubes in my drinks. Let alone having to brush my teeth with bottled water shock.
Why should you on holiday?
I could just about understand it being worth the risk if you were going exploring in the jungle but for a beach / pool holiday?
I like to drink tap water wherever I am unless it is desalinated sea water.

Trills Sun 11-Aug-13 18:16:40

I don't want to be hyper-vigilant on holiday. I want to relax. And I most definitely want ice in my G&T.

(actually the gin was shit, that is another contributing reason to not go back to Egypt - I'd rather go to a country where the other inhabitants like a gin, so I know they will have good gin!)

Coconutty Sun 11-Aug-13 18:18:03

We didn't get ill although did expect to after hearing horror stories. We used bottled water for teeth brushing but had ice, salad and anything else we wanted from the buffets.

Did stay in a lovely place which cost quite a bit though.

Mintyy Sun 11-Aug-13 18:21:39

I really couldn't bear to holiday in a hot country where you couldn't rely on ice in drinks or eat salad. How grim!

<am fully aware how painfully middle class that makes me sound, btw>

Trills Sun 11-Aug-13 18:35:59

We were booked into a naice place in Egypt on a very good deal. Icelandic ash volcano happened, rebooking for a month later would have been far too much above our budget, so had to go somewhere nice-ish but not as nice.

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