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Are most holidaymakers ill in India?

(49 Posts)
rhiannonplas Wed 22-Nov-17 20:27:46

DH and I are starting to look at a big trip to celebrate big birthdays next year (just us, DC are grown up).

We'd love to go to India, but although DH has a cast-iron stomach, I'm prone to food poisoning and was ill when we went to Morocco and Cuba. (I did, however lose quite a bit of weight, so every cloud...)

If you've been to India, did you have Delhi belly even if you followed the advice about only drinking sealed water, mouth shut in shower, not eating cut fruit, eating veggie food (which I would anyway), taking malaria precautions?

Are any areas of India better than others health-wise? (Although I would love to go to the Golden Triangle and Pondicherry).

Thanks for any advice.

Ffsdh Wed 22-Nov-17 20:31:10

I flew to Delhi, had a couple of days there then a week on Goa. I didn’t get ill and neither did the 3 friends I travelled with. I only drank bottled water but ate cut fruit, meat, had ice in drinks and didn’t think about closing my mouth in the shower.

We did stay in nice hotels though and only really ate in the hotels or a couple of restaurants we were taken to on tours.

sandgrown Wed 22-Nov-17 20:36:08

My friend has been to India five times and has never been ill. She said to be extra careful and use hand sanitiser after handling money. We are going in March and I am worried about being ill!

Homesunderthehammer27 Wed 22-Nov-17 20:36:41

I've been to India several times on business. Delhi belly a couple of times - mostly not. One time was a result of feeling obliged to "drink" some of the holy water at a Sikh temple as we were shown around. Tried to keep mouth shut but wasn't successful and paid for it.

One of the biggest culprits for passing germs is money, so use wipes/handwash regularly and that will reduce the risk.

Homesunderthehammer27 Wed 22-Nov-17 20:37:07

Cross post about money.

LapinR0se Wed 22-Nov-17 20:40:01

Went to India on a Work trip in 2008. Everything 5 star, best restaurants blah blah.
Still got E Coli poisoning, infected mosquito bites and the flu.

OlennasWimple Wed 22-Nov-17 20:40:30

I'm prone to D&V and I've visited India a couple of times and been OK

Be scrupulous about hand hygiene and only drink bottled water. I tend not to drink my shower water anyway, and can't remember being offered cut fruit except from market stalls by the road, which wasn't appetising for various reasons.

Pack super strength Immodium and Dioralyte just in case, plus travel sized hand sanitiser to keep with you in case you can't wash your hands before eating.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Wed 22-Nov-17 20:44:04

I know it's not India (sorry) but I had no problems in Sri Lanka. I ate random street foods and meals wrapped in newspaper bought from the side of the road. But nothing raw that could have been washed in tap water. Every meal or snack was hot and fresh or unpeeled fruit.

I see the money issue has been raised - that was how I became sick in The Gambia, so I highly recommend being scrupulous about washing hands after handling cash!

bluejelly Wed 22-Nov-17 20:45:27

If you don’t eat meat the risk of getting ill is way lower.

Neoflex Wed 22-Nov-17 20:46:47

A group of 6 of us traveled in India. We all got sick several times, all within a few days of arrival.
We had a pharmacist in our group who advised us what to buy before, during and after the trip. But there were still several occasions when one of us was so I'll we couldn't leave our beds.
We followed the rules with no fruit or salad etc. But we did not stay in 5 star tourist hotels.
We bought sealed water but later found out that some people have their own machines they use to seal water in reused bottles. Therefore I would advise only buying water at recognised trusted chains or if you have a decent hotel, from the hotel lobby.
At one "hotel" it was clear they had sealed their own because all the bottles were filled to different levels.
Also I would not estimate the poor air quality in the north near Delhi. You might also get sick with migraines and blocked nose, sore throat. We had black/grey snot after travelling in some areas.

DramaAlpaca Wed 22-Nov-17 20:48:46

I got really ill in India, even though I was careful what I ate and meticulous with hygiene. DH was fine & didn't get sick at all.

I'd still go back though, it's an amazing place.

tarheelbaby Wed 22-Nov-17 20:51:40

Never been myself, but friends visiting friends were advised to eat plenty of probiotic yoghurt before/during traveling and to stick with vegetarian options.

duriandurian Wed 22-Nov-17 21:03:39

We did India last Christmas. I was in a somewhat compromised immune state (had booked a long time before annoyingly), 4 yo and 8 yo and robust DH. Chandigarh, Himalayas, Goa, Delhi were on our itinerary.
A widely travelled and also delicate of gut friend advised a French tablet (pro biotic) called Lacteol Forte. It was fantastic. Didn't need to refrigerate and we were all 100% well. We stayed in v nice accommodation but eg at airport DS managed to lick the floor. And ate at some hole in the wall places- again unplanned but all stayed well. I did take alcohol hand spray (tho' learnt this week that this doesn't kill norovirus).
Have a fantastic time.

duriandurian Wed 22-Nov-17 21:04:39

Oh yes and take PM2.5 masks. I think quality mark is N95 for the awful awful pollution if near Delhi. It is almost unbearable.

NC4now Wed 22-Nov-17 21:06:50

I spent two weeks in India this time last year and was fine. Stayed in some nice places and some not so nice. We just took the right precautions and got on fine.

NC4now Wed 22-Nov-17 21:07:39

Good point about the pollution. There was a major smog when we were in Delhi. It actually hurt my lungs.

Closetlibrarian Wed 22-Nov-17 21:28:57

My mum, who's been to India a lot, swears by travellers' probiotic. I think she takes it prior to and during travel.

Wowzel Wed 22-Nov-17 21:53:40

We went to Bangalore and Goa for 2.5 weeks - I was fine and my DH had a few days of diarrhoea.

EmmaGrundyForPM Wed 22-Nov-17 21:58:52

I was ill.in Morocco and Cuba but fine in India despite eating street food, including chicken.

Dh was fine in Morocco and Cuba but contracted Hep A in India. We only drank from supposedly sealed bottles of water but realised too late the some water bottles are refilled with tap water and have the lids hammered back on so they appeared sealed. sad

rhiannonplas Wed 22-Nov-17 22:07:45

Thanks for all the advice. We really would like to go there.

HepA sounds very worrying though EmmaGrundy, is he ok now?

Yika Wed 22-Nov-17 22:11:55

I got very ill in a couple of other places (central and South America) but was fine in india. The usual precautions and veg food only.

MollyCule Wed 22-Nov-17 22:12:09

I've been twice. First time was super careful (also no meat), stayed in 5 star hotels and got sick with d&v for about 3 days. At leas I was sick in comfort and had access to room service! Second time I wasn't quite as careful but didn't get sick...

EmmaGrundyForPM Thu 23-Nov-17 03:57:18

He's fine now thanks, this was several years ago. He was ill for about 9 months at the time and lost loads of weight - he's 6' 1" and went down to 9 1/2 stone. The worst part was that his live couldn't tolerate rich food or alcohol for months!

blurrystar Thu 23-Nov-17 06:19:44

I got food poisoning from some calamari I ate in goa , it kicked in during an overnight bus ride to Bangalore on a coach that had NO TOILET. I ended up begging the driver to let me off so I could shit af the side of the road, one of the worst moments of my life tbh.

Still loved India though! grin

SandysMam Thu 23-Nov-17 06:26:25

Never been but am an emetephobe (probably why I have never been!) and there is good research to suggest that the use of probiotics can prevent or shorten sickness. Get one with a 10 billion count and start taking now to build up gut flora. Some require refrigeraton so check this. Holland and Barrett have a good range. Enjoy your trip!

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