Safe water is an essential commodity to prevent 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:

• Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
• Avoid ice made from tap water.
• Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
• Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
• Chlorination does not kill giardia cysts.
• Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
• Chlorination does not kill cryptosporidium.
• Boiled water is safe.
• Treated water is safe.
• Bottled water is safe.
• Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
• 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.
• Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
• Hot tea and coffee are the best alternatives to boiled water.
• Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
• Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
• Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.
• Adding five drops of tincture of iodine to a quarter of water (1 liter) will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.

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