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Home>>Travel Risks

Travel Risks

Don't Forget:

  • On the streets, wear shoulder bags across the body (impossible to snatch), and keep all money and valuables out of sight (never in unzipped pockets). Beware of being frisked by beggars pretending a friendly hug. Never give anyone your camera, radio or walk man to 'look at', unless you feel quite sure of getting it back again.

  • On trains, where there is much robbery, use your ruck-sack or bag as a pillow (or stash it under your knees) when sleeping. If going to the bathroom, bolt your bag to a fixed compartment attachment or to a window bar.

  • On crowded local buses, keep a constant eye on your luggage. You may be asked to put your bags under a seat to make room for other passenger. Don't do it.

  • In cheap lodging, double-lock the door (with combination padlock) and secure all windows before retiring for the night-thieves are adept at creeping into unsecured hotel rooms.

  • If leaving your luggage for anywhere, for any reason, padlock it to a pipe, a bedstead, or anything that cannot be moved. Some hotels will remind it for you-but always get a receipt, and always check nothing's missing on your return.

  • Don't accept any food or drink from total strangers, especially on trains or buses. There are good chances that it might be drugged.

  • Fear, anger or carelessness all attract theft; calm confidence and alertness deter it. If you become a victim, report your loss to the police by all means (you will need their report for any insurance claim), but do not expect a lot of sympathy. India is for the self-reliant -a quality that some travelers have to learn the hard way.

Health Protections:


  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or, if hands are not visibly soiled, use a waterless, alcohol-based hand rub to remove potentially infectious materials from your skin and help prevent disease transmission.

  • In developing countries, drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, learn how to make water safer to drink.

  • Take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your health care provider for a prescription.)

  • To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot, even on beaches.

  • Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Protect yourself from mosquito insect bites:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats when outdoors.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.

  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET (N, N-diethylmethyltoluamide). For more information about insect repellents and correct use, see What You Need to Know about Mosquito Repellent on the CDC West Nile Virus site.

  • If no screening or air conditioning is available: use a parathyroid-containing spray in living and sleeping areas during evening and night-time hours; sleep under bed nets, preferably insecticide-treated ones.

  • If you are visiting friends and relatives in your home country, see additional special information about malaria prevention in Recent Immigrants to the U.S. from Malarious Countries Returning 'Home' to Visit Friends and Relatives on the CDC Malaria site.

Don't Do's :

  • Do not eat food purchased from street vendors or food that is not well cooked to reduce risk of infection (i.e., hepatitis A and typhoid fever).

  • Do not drink beverages with ice.Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.

  • Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as schistosomiasis. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Precautions.)

  • Do not handle animals, especially monkeys, dogs, and cats, to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague). Consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas. For more information, please see Animal-Associated Hazards.

  • Do not share needles for tattoos, body piercing or injections to prevent infections such as HIV and hepatitis B.

After You Return Home

  • If you have visited a malaria-risk area, continue taking your antimalarial drug for 4 weeks (doxycycline or mefloquine) or seven days (atovaquone/proguanil) after leaving the risk area.

  • Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the physician your travel history.


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