Safe water is an essential commodity for prevention of 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 or amoeba cysts.

• Chlorination does not kill Cryptosporidium.

• Boiled/Treated/Bottled water is safe.

• Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.

• Freezing does not kill 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 alternates 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.

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