About health in Egypt

Egypt is no different from the rest of the world, when it comes to tourist health, it is something that must be thought about and addressed. Every country has its own specific health concerns to their visitors, and Egypt is no different.

First of all, a myth must be put to rest, even though it may be contrary to what many doctors will advise! THERE IS NO MALARIA IN EGYPT, nor has there been for over 85 years! Yes, Egypt is in Africa and yes, Africa is a major source of this deadly disease, but the mosquito that carries malaria is no longer a resident, except for a very few that tend to be in the oases in the far south of the country. Many doctors will tell potential visitors to ensure they have injections and/or tablets to prevent catching the disease, but these medications tend to ensure that the visitor does not enjoy their visit due to the side effects!

Water in Egypt

One of the major sources of health concern is water. Tap water is clean and fit to drink, but only to those who are used to it. As in other countries, Egypt has its own methods of sanitizing water and these do not always match with your countries methods. Because of this, your stomachs microbes will react by giving you stomach problems: including diarrhea and/or stomach cramps (this is not unique to Egypt, it does occur throughout the world, and even Egyptians have the same problems when visiting other countries). This is why you are strongly advised to drink bottled water, ensuring that any new bottle is sealed. Bottled water is cheap and plentiful, especially in the supermarkets, shops, and kiosks (hotels do tend to add a surcharge, making it a lot dearer). But the tap water is safe for general hygiene purposes like cleaning your teeth and showering: no need to use bottled water with your toothpaste!

Fresh fruit and vegetables in Egypt

Fresh fruit and vegetables can also be a health problem, but only because of the way they are washed. Most major outlets to ensure that these foods are well cleaned before either selling them raw or preparing them for inclusion in a meal, but the preparation in market stalls and small shops cannot always be relied on. You can either ignore these outlets or give the foods a quick rinse with your bottled water before eating them.

Whilst we are discussing fruit and vegetables, it would be wise to mention another health problem caused, indirectly, by them. Because of their freshness and superb taste, it is very easy to start overindulging with them, especially in situations where you have a free buffet: the temptation to keep filling your plate is too tempting! However, a word of warning must be given here and it is because of your stomach microbes (as mentioned above). Too much fresh fruit and veg mean overloading of work for your digestive system, and the only release mechanism that it has is to eject the excess food as quick as possible. No one will ever admit that the reason that they got diarrhea is that they were too greedy, or overindulged. Nope, they were either food poisoned or caught “Pharaohs Revenge”! This is not to say that food poisoning is not a problem, of course, it is, as it is everywhere on the planet, but not as much as it is made out to be by many tourists. Why is it that only one person, in a large group, in a large restaurant, eating the same food as everyone else, is confined to bed the next day because of stomach problems! Food poisoning tends to affect most of those who have eaten the offending food, not just one!