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Hygiene

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Lancashire, England
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1,050 posts
134 reviews
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Hygiene

I just thought my experience might help people who are concerned about getting food poisoning.

I used TA for my research before I booked my holiday. I learned that nothing less than a four star cruise/hotel should be considered to have the best chance of avoiding a bad stomach. I also decided to take plenty of alcohol gel with me. I took a large bottle that I decanted in to a small one, which I had with me all the time. I believe that the real problem is the handling of Egyptian money.

Every time I paid for something I immediately cleansed my hands with the gel. I had absolutely no problems. However, I was in a taxi with a group of people and my adult son was in the front passenger seat. I handed the money to him to give the right fare to the driver. He forgot to clean his hands. The result was he was quite ill with a tummy bug the next day which lasted for three days.

I really believe that if travellers follow this regimen of using alcohol gel often and not just after handling money, it would keep down the chance of getting sick.

I hope this helps someone.

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Luxor
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4,056 posts
126 reviews
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1. Re: Hygiene

Hi there

I think too that the dirty money plays a big part in people getting upset stomachs - it's just too easy to blame the food all the time, which is sometimes not the case at all.

Everyone is different and just a change of water (albeit the bottled variety) can adversely affect your constitution, as can too much sun and too much alcohol or gulping down drinks that are too cold and chilling your stomach. Having the air conditioning up too high can also upset your system.

I now also carry antibacterial hand spray with me along with wet wipes and spare tissues, all of which comes in very handy.

Luxor, Egypt
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500 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Hygiene

Did you know that one of the biggest causes of salmonella, legionnaires disease etc etc is the cleanliness of the shower head. Check it before you use it. A bucket of hot water and bleach is all it takes.

Sheffield, United...
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3,381 posts
69 reviews
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3. Re: Hygiene

Thought I was the only one who was wary of showers on holiday ! Since Legionnaires became such a problem I always keep my head down when washing my hair in the shower (i.e. so the water doesnt go up my nose or in my mouth) . Same with swimming pools - keep my head above water to avoid ear infections and prefer to swim in the sea. Not phobic or anything but just do it out of habit when away now.

Cairo
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30 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Hygiene

i also think using alcohol gel, is a great idea.

BUT, the money made your son sick for 3 days?? I handle the money everyday and I dont get sick everyday. You sure he didnt eat uncleaned vegetables or fruit, or drank tapwater by accident?

But ugh, those 1 pound notes are nasty.

London, United...
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3,208 posts
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5. Re: Hygiene

Just to expand a little on Rowz posting about the handling of money causing stomach bugs, which in my view is the main cause of this problem.

I think that short-term upsets can be caused by the things Marlscat suggests (sun, cold drinks, A/C etc) but if you are affected quite severly for a number of days then it is probaly due to the bacteria on the money.

Something else to be aware of too, and before everyone jumps down my throat, I mean this in no way disrespectfully to the Egyptian people, but as we all know, everybody is very friendly and everybody wants to shake your hand. When Egyptians (who obviously have a tolerance to this having grown up with it) handle the money and then shake your hand, the bacteria is obviously passed on via the sweat on the hands.

This is why, I believe, some people are affected who haven't handled the money, so they blame the food etc.

I think it is a valid point that should be taken into consideration, because I'm sure most of us, whilst there, will shake a 100 hands a day.

I will never forget the time, some years ago, when I was in the company of a group of 'first-timers' on the terrace of the Old Cataract hotel in Aswan.

I had just said to them, 'Probably the single most important thing you should know, is to not put your hands anywhere near your mouth after handling the money'. I then noticed one poor chap looking up at me with the most pityful expression on his face. He had been organising the contents of his waist pouch and was holding a bunch of Egyptian notes in his mouth. OUCH!

Needless to say, the poor guy spent 70% of his holiday in a small room in the hotel. :-)

Selby, United...
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130 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Hygiene

Just to add my bit

There has been lots of research done about bacteria and money, The general conclusion is that money may harbour bacteria at very low levels, Too low to be of any concern.

For the last twenty five years I have worked with bacteria, enzymes etc for the food industry and to grow bacteria needs oxygen and food(normally some form of sugar) so if bacteria grows on money where does it get its food, It is very unlikely that bacteria will survive on bank notes for more than a few hours and even then in very low numbers, Everytime someone touches a note it will pick up bacteria from there body at very low levels which will quickly die, I believe that picking up any bacteria from handling money is a very low risk, although not impossible, A much more likely source of picking anything up is from swimming pools.

New York
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59 posts
13 reviews
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7. Re: Hygiene

I'm not really up on the cleanliness of foreign swimming pools, but doesn't the chlorine kill just about anything?

Selby, United...
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130 posts
7 reviews
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8. Re: Hygiene

Yes chlorine kills things if used correctly, Herea an extract from a article from the Daily Mail "Holiday swimming pools are putting the health of millions of Britons at risk amid evidence they contain up to 30 different bugs.

The majority of pools in sunshine resorts are laced with bacteria that creates a potential health hazard.

Some are little better than toilets, with one in four identified as a serious health hazard.If you want to read the rest of it its at dailymail.co.uk/health/article-463170/Pools-…

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Luxor
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2,229 posts
170 reviews
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9. Re: Hygiene

Points noted, but I shall still keep my Egyptian money in a plastic bag as it looks grubby, feels greasy & smells bad!

I am also very careful in the hotel pool!

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Luxor
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10. Re: Hygiene

Oh KV, the image of that man holding Egptian money in his mouth nearly had me reaching for the sick bag!!!

I am wary of swimming pools too - I came home one year from Luxor with the most painful sore throat I've ever had in my life - even the GP recoiled in horror when she looked at it!! I'm convinced to this day that I picked up something from the pool.