China travel guide


China Travel Guide

Chinese diseases

Diseases Diarrhea is the most common intestinal illness affecting travelers, generally in a mild form while your stomach gets used to the unfamiliar food. Each year nearly half of international travelers (around 10 million people) develop diarrhea. Rest and dehydration is the only treatment necessary, and it will likely be over in few days. Acute diarrhea could indicate food poisoning.

Other intestinal diseases include Dysentery, an inflammation of the intestine, indicated by diarrhea with blood or mucus and abdominal pain; Giardia, distinguished by smelly burps or farts, discolored feces without blood or pus, and fluctuating diarrhea; and Cholera, an acute bacterial disease transmitted through food or water contaminated is indicated by diarrhea, later combined with vomiting, nausea and muscle cramps; but these diseases are now under control.

Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted through mosquito bites. It is only a problem in the Southern China in summer and in tropical areas. Travelers should take precautions even it is not very common. Use repellent on exposed skin, sleep with mosquito nets, use insecticide sprays in rooms, and vaccines or prophylactic drugs can be useful too. Symptoms of the onset of malaria are flu-like fever with intense headaches and shivering, with later joint pain. A blood test confirms the diagnosis and, if caught early, treatment could be rapid and effective. Dengue fever is another disease caused by mosquito bites but it is infrequently.

The most common respiratory infection is the flu that affects a great number of the population, regularly in the winter months. The problem is originated by the overcrowded conditions, pollution and custom of spitting, which quickly spreads infection. Initial symptoms are fever, sore throat, chills and a feeling of malaise. Then, severe coughing and bronchitis set in. Try drinking lots of fluids, get plenty of rest and take some medicine. Flu usually lasts a week or less.

Tuberculosis is a respiratory illness more serious transmitted by inhalation, and spread by coughing and spitting. The disease becomes active when the body is weakened by fatigue, malnutrition or under immune suppression. The disease has been making a recent resurgence. Visitors should take care if will spend a lot of time on crowded trains and buses.

In recent years the number of Chinese infected with HIV has highly increased due to the more liberal climate. As of 2005 around 1 million people have been infected with HIV, leading to about 150,000 AIDS deaths. Gonorrhea and Syphilis are other sexually transmitted diseases present in China.

Visitors should also be informed about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), an extremely contagious disease ceased currently; Hepatitis B, recognized as endemic in China with around 130 million people infected; and leprosy.

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