Water Hygiene

Safe water is an essential commodity for prevention of most water and food-borne diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and jaundice. These diseases are 100% preventable. All of them can be lethal if not prevented, diagnosed or treated in time.

Transmission of parasitic infections can also occur with contaminated water. Here are a few tips:

i.      Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
ii.     Avoid ice made from tap water.
iii.    Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
iv.     Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
v.      Chlorination does not kill giardia cysts.
vi.     Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
vii.    Chlorination does not kill cryptosporidium.
viii.   Boiled water is safe.
ix.     Treated water is safe.
x.      Bottled water is safe.
xi.     Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
xii.    Freezing does not kill the organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water.
xiii.   Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
xiv.    Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water.
xv.     Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw  rather than with a glass.
xvi.    Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
xvii.   Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30
xviii.  Adding five drops of tincture of iodine to a quarter of water (1 liter) will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.