How to Avoid Getting Sick in China – Tips For Staying Healthy
Traveling to China can be a little tricky. The country is full of amazing locations and great places to enjoy and have a meal, but keeping your health intact as you go through the motions of your trip can pose an enduring challenge. To be honest, most issues can be avoided as long as you take care of your personal hygiene. Before you begin your journey, you will want to know how to avoid getting sick in China. Many tourists often encounter sickness and culture shock within the first couple of weeks.
You will need to mind what you eat, when you eat, and where you eat. Since the country is in the upper hemisphere, some regions are bound to have seasonal changes, so it is good to take care of this as well if you travel to specific areas. Having a sleeping schedule also helps a lot, and hydration plays a pivotal role in your health as well.
If you are already in, or going to China soon, you are probably very interested in this information since you probably want to have the best experience you can have on your trip. Now sit back for a bit and get ready to learn how to stay healthy in China with this brief guide. If you really want to learn how to avoid getting sick in China, read more below:
The Most Common Health Risks in China
When you travel to China, you are not exposed to anything out of the ordinary as it happens when you go to a foreign location. Most of the risks to your health will come from conventional sources such as eating something your stomach can’t handle or using inadequate clothing for specific weather conditions.
You can also face some overexertion as well as exhaustion since a walk in China can take a few hours to get you someplace. There is also the risk of having to deal with altitude sickness as well. To avoid any of these issues, these are some precautions you should take into consideration:
Be Careful When You Drink the Water
Let’s come clean with something: the only location where you can drink the tap water is from Hong Kong. That’s the only location that has a functional public water system that delivers potable water on demand. No matter where you are on the mainland, the best thing you can do for your health is to drink bottled water wherever you go, even in safe places such as hotels or restaurants. If you are staying in your own residence, make sure that you either buy all the water you consume or boil the water that comes out of the tap for at least 20 minutes to kill all bacteria on it.
Take Some Precautions with the Food
Street Vendors are the bread and butter of every Chinese street; their offerings on meals are very diverse and quite often very inviting. There are many delicious tasting dishes to try, but you need to know and understand which food not to eat. The problem is that not all of them follow the necessary sanitary conditions required to sell their products, and since there are so many, the office tasked with regulating their activities doesn’t seem too bothered with enforcing such policies.
If you are to keep a steady diet, don’t go for the products offered by these vendors. Your stomach won’t be able to handle it, and neither will your taste buds. If you have some experience handling food truck meals back home, you may try a couple of places after making sure they are sanitary enough for you to eat in. Understanding what kind of food you are eating is the best way on how to avoid getting sick in China.
Follow Some Basic Preventive Measures
Some of these apply if you have a weak constitution or a record of illnesses related to allergies or adverse reactions to outside elements. First off, try to avoid contact with animals such as cats, dogs, or monkeys to prevent getting rabies. Try not to swim in fresh water unless it’s in a chlorinated pool so that you can avoid a Schistosomiasis infection. This also should go without saying, but avoid sharing needles with anyone, and if you happen to have sex with a local, make sure to use a condom.
Vaccinations and Other Medical Suggestions
Some particular places in China require that foreign visitors check their vaccinations before planning a trip. If you make a quick visit to your doctor before making the trip, he should be able to tell you what you need. You can also do this on your own by paying a visit to the websites of the regional governments in China and check their health advice section for travelers set by the State or Foreign Affairs Departments.
The average list offered these websites ask visitors to take the following shots four to six weeks before getting to the country:
- Hepatitis A or an Immune Globulin
- Hepatitis B if you expect to be exposed to blood, or have sexual contact with the locals. It’s also a requirement if you are getting medical treatment in the mainland or if you are staying longer than six months.
- Rabies, if you are visiting regions where you might be exposed to wild animals
- Malaria is requested for visitors going to the extreme south of China or for visitors going to the Southeast Asian border and the Hainan Island
Dealing with Medicines in China
China customs allow you the passage of medicine in your luggage if they are brought for personal consumption and not with the intent of selling them. You can bring over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication if you have a delicate stomach. You can also carry products such as Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin and other mild pain relievers for headaches, or muscular aches. If you have a severe medical condition that demands ongoing treatment, makes sure to bring your medical records with you if you are bringing over your meds from home.
Medical Care in China for Foreigners
- All the major cities in China have hospitals, and while most of them reach international standards for attention, quite a few of them can offer only the most basic care.
- There is an ambulance service provided through their emergency phone number by dialing #120. These vehicles will only carry the ill person from his current location to a hospital. They are not equipped to treat injuries or get the affected prepared for the emergency room.
- If you need to remain in the hospital after having an emergency you will be asked to pay a deposit before getting any treatment, make sure to have all the information related to your insurance at hand to offer it to whoever requests it.
- If you have to spend the day, you will need someone to take care of you since the nursing care in hospitals in China are limited to medical treatments.
- The hospitals give no food during your stay, so you will need to provide for that as well.
We hope this collection of facts and tips help you understand better how to avoid getting sick in China for any future trip you may plan, especially if you have delicate health. Leave a comment below if you have any questions about the health safety while you are in the country.