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Water source of holiday illnesses

21 February 2013 09:13

Drinking unsafe water abroad has been described as a 'huge danger' for travellers

Drinking unsafe water abroad has been described as a 'huge danger' for travellers

More than half of all travellers are getting ill because of drinking dirty water overseas. Latin America, Africa, the Middle-East and Asia top the list of the biggest-risk destinations, says new research from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Diarrhoea is the most common symptom resulting from imbibing contaminated water, followed by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, bloating and fever.

Cholera, dysentery, giardiasis and typhoid are just some of the serious conditions travellers can contract from drinking unsafe water. The latest findings emphasis more than ever the need for good medical travel insurance. The new results have sparked a safety warning from experts at water filtration manufacturer Sawyer, which has unveiled a decades-lasting filter it claims is the market's lightest and most versatile system.

The company says travellers should disinfect or boil drinking water. There are portable UV light devices that can also purify water, but these still need to be free of any unpleasant particulate materials. Sawyer director Philip Dean described unsafe drinking water abroad as a' huge danger' for travellers and holidaymakers. Mr Dean said even bottled water was unsafe in some developing countries, especially where it had been sourced from local areas and contained bacteria.