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World Travel, Your Health & What is the Best Water Filtration System
Where do you plan to vacation this year? Are you planning a trip to Africa, China, or India? Maybe you plan to remain in the United States and climb one mountain peak after another.
Below are a list of popular travel places and ways to treat unhealthy drinking water. If you love to travel and spend much of your time catching a red eye flight from one country to another then you need to know how to treat drinking water.
Where Are You Going?
India is a remarkable country. Imagine visiting there and seeing the Agra also known as the Taj Mahal, the seventh wonder of the world, Banhavgarth, a national park 168 sq. miles of habitat and tigers, Varanasi, one of the oldest cities of Ghats and temples, or the Ajanta Ellora Caves where morethan 62 caves are carved out of rock.
These are sites to behold; however, before you catch that flight you should know that India's huge and growing population is putting a strain on water resources. Most water resources are contaminated due to sewage and agricultural runoff. Access to drinking has improved but only just remotely.
According to water.org, 21% of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water. Diarrhea alone causes more than 1,600 deaths daily. In the city of New Delhi, 128 million people lack safe water. 839 million have no sanitation services, there's a 5% infant mortality rate, and 25% live inpoverty. The more rural the area, the more this particular problem increases.
Africa is a beautiful place to visit. Almost everyone wants to take an African safari. Popular things to do include: the Annual Wildebeest Migration in Kenya, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the Sahara Desert in North Africa, and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. All of these sites top Forbes magazine's 5 places to visit in Africa before you die list.
But did you know that drinking water can be even dirtier in some parts of Africa than India? According to Unicef there are about 4 billion cases of diarrhea per year that cause 1.8 million deaths. Over 90% of fatalities are children under 5 years of age.
A few common waterborne illnesses include: Arsenicosis, Cholera, Flourosis, Guinea Worm disease, HIV/AIDS, intestinal worms, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Trachomoa, and Typhiod.
It's imperative that you have a plan for drinking water. Even something as small as showering, brushing teeth, and making ice cubes can cause you to attain a life threatening waterborne illness into your system.
Some of us really love backpacking. It's a trek across unseen regions that allow you to get up close and personal with your surroundings. There are lots of places to consider backpacking in including: New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Brazil, and yes, India.
Although all of these places are beautiful, backpacking forces you to rely on the most risky drinking water of all, nature. It woulds eem healthy, but it can in fact be quite frightening and even deadly to drink untreated water right out of the mountains, lakes, streams, and waterfalls. These waters can become contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other harmful contaminates.
When planning a backpacking trip remember your water needs and plan accordingly. The center of disease control offers this vital information:
Safe drinking water
Make sure you have access to safe drinking water. Drinking contaminated water puts you at risk for Giardia, Shigella, and Cryptosporidium.
Safe recreational water
Make sure the water you're swimming in and treading through is safe. Untreated water can cause illness even if you're swimming in it.
Always wash your hands with soap and water and if you don't have access to a public restroom bury any bodily waste at least 8 inches deep and at least 200 ft. from natural waters.
It's best to be armed with knowledge. For this information access the CDC's articles Diseases Related to Travel.
Illness and injury
When traveling abroad it's important to know what to do in the event of illness and injury. Follow the CDC's Illness and Injury Abroad webpage for more information.
The Best Ways to Cleanse Water
You can always pack bottled water for your trip; however, there is a high probability that you'll run out. Remember that wherever you're going you going to be bathing, brushing your teeth, and washing your hands. If you don't have access to clean water, bottled water will go quickly.
Water Purification Tablets
Chemicals like iodine and chlorine are common chemicals used to treat water. Often referred to as Halogens, these chemicals can kill bacteria and viruses; however, they do not kill protozoa. This water treatment is easy to pack but it can also make water taste bad. A flavoring agent might be helpful. Other precautions include allergies and whether or not you're pregnant or have any kind of thyroid condition.
Boiling water is a highly effective way to kill protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. Heating water to at least 149 degrees F for 5 minutes will kill 99.99% of all harmful organisms. The problem with this method might be access fuel and a thermometer that's needed to gauge temperature. Boiling water won't remove sediment, so it might be necessary to run boiled water through at least a coffee filter or better.
Using a filtration system is the probably the best way to clean water. The filtration system forces water through a finely porous internal element. It's a speedy way to have fresh water and you can filter enough to accommodate a variety of situations. What is the best water filtration system for your needs? There are specialized filters for backpacking and some that can be packed and taken abroad. It's important to remember that not all water filters are created equal, biological contaminants are rarely filtered, so choose according to what you think you'll need.