Tourists associate a stay in Egypt with many health inconveniences, but there are no more serious illnesses. A visit to the local pharmacy will in most cases solve your health problems: Egyptian pharmacists are very knowledgeable, and the recurring problems of tourists know very well and deal with them very well. There are many medications, for which you do not need a prescription, hence a medical visit is needed only then, when the pharmacist cannot deal with a specific case. Many doctors conduct private practices (visit approx. 25 $), in more serious cases, go to hospital (the best are in college). In many facilities, patients are charged a deposit, which you have to apply for from the insurance company.
Most health problems are caused by changes in diet and climate, to which each organism reacts differently. Some people get used to high temperatures quickly and even feel better than in the north, others have problems. The most difficult thing is with children and the elderly. Acclimatization in Egypt is, first of all, following the basic laws of hygiene and behavior at high temperatures. It is good to protect yourself against unpleasant surprises in advance.
To avoid health problems, you should first take care of the quality of consumed water and food. The most common complaint during many trips is an upset stomach. When sunbathing, you need to use common sense and not lie on the beach for hours. Following the rules of hygiene and a healthy approach to sunbathing and hiking in the sun guarantees, that you can rest without visiting a doctor.
A vaccination certificate is not required to enter Egypt (Yellow fever vaccination is required from people coming directly from the area where the disease occurs). Recommended vaccinations: viral hepatitis A and B, tetanus and diphtheria, Heine-Medin disease and typhoid. A very low risk of malaria may be from June to October in the Fayoum area (for a year 1998 no new cases were reported). However, specific protection measures against malaria are not recommended.
All medications taken on a journey should be transported in their original packaging. People taking a particular drug should know its official name.
It is imperative to bring sun protection products to Egypt, a hat and good sunglasses.
The most common ailments
Diarrhea – Some people call diarrhea "the tourist's disease", and others "the disease of dirty hands" or "Pharaoh's revenge". Both definitions are accurate. Usually everyone, who comes to Egypt, it falls on it sooner or later. Climate change and poorer water sometimes cause intestinal contamination. The most serious risk is dehydration of the body. First of all, you need to replenish your fluids (weak black tea with a little sugar, water), and if the diarrhea lasts more than a day, use rehydration salts available at any pharmacy. Avoid fatty foods, highly seasoned dishes, coffee, alcohol, fruit and dairy products. In the event of intestinal cramps and vomiting, Imodium or Lomotil must be taken. If symptoms persist, and the diarrhea becomes bloody or accompanied by a fever, chills and severe stomach pain, a visit to the doctor is necessary, as these may be symptoms of typhus and dysentery (both diseases are treated with antibiotics). It is worse with amoebiasis (amoebiasis, amoebic dysentery), which is much more difficult to heal, and if left untreated, it leaves permanent traces in the body.
Typically, drinking water is accused of causing diarrhea. In Egypt, you can drink tap water and brush your teeth with it, but mineral is safer. The water from rivers and lakes can be polluted, and its consumption may cause diarrhea. Drinks that are too cold are a common cause of intestinal discomfort.
Besides, it is worth paying attention in restaurants, whether the supplied mineral water has the original closure. Be careful with dairy products, especially unpasteurized milk and ice cream from a street vendor. Washing your hands frequently should become a reflex action.
Heat, sun and dust
Ailments related to non-compliance with the rules of common sense when sunbathing are the greatest pain of tourists on the Red Sea. It is worth recalling some important rules regarding exposure to the sun:
• Gradually accustom the skin to the stronger radiation.
• Skin that is not used to the sun should be covered with light clothing or use a cream with a strong UV sunscreen.
• Wear sunglasses, to protect my eyes.
• Avoid the midday sun.
• You can sunbathe in the shade and in the water, and even get burned.
It is good to adapt the rhythm of life to the climate. Between 12.00 a 15.00 small children, the elderly and those who are sensitive to heat and temperature should seek shelter in air-conditioned rooms or at least under an umbrella. Only in the evening, when it gets colder, they can take to the streets unhindered.
Relatively harmless, heat rash is a troublesome symptom of overheating the body – itchy rash caused by excessive sweating. Wear loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibers, stay in cooler rooms more often and rinse your body frequently in the shower. After some time and with acclimatization, the sweat disappears.