Sunday, June 25, 2017
Certified as a tour director through the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI), Manuel Marquez, MD, has led numerous travelers on tours throughout Mexico. Manuel Marquez, MD, has led more than 20 Mexican tours of seven to 60 days' duration in cities such as Guadalajara and Mexico City.
Although Mexico is a beautiful and popular tourist destination, travelers should be on guard for gastrointestinal illnesses that plague many tourists who are not acclimated to certain conditions in the country. Digestive distress is, in fact, a risk for any international traveler, particularly if they expose themselves to improperly cooked foods or untreated water.
Because tap water in Mexico may contain parasites or other bacteria, travelers should restrict themselves to bottled water. The water in the common five-gallon garafones is safe for drinking, as is purified water and water from some hotels and restaurants that have internal filtration systems. Travelers should never assume that any place has such a system, however, and should always ask for verification.
Travelers may also wish to avoid raw vegetables and fruits, unless they are treated with an iodine solution or comparable natural product. Peeling produce with edible skin may be an effective extra step as well.
Any produce contained in street-vendor food may be suspect, as may meats. Vendors often keep their hot foods at temperatures that are too low to prevent microbe growth, just as seafood restaurants often fail to keep their frozen fish frozen overnight. Fish products from a restaurant near the coast may be safe, as these establishments often get their fish in fresh, but inland restaurants do not always run their freezers consistently enough to offer safe seafood.
Finally, travelers should take care to wash their hands before eating whenever possible and keep preventive medicines at hand.