Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists choose Sri Lanka as their tropical destination. This is because of its natural beauty and wildlife. As far as the cleanliness of the country is concerned, it remains clean but we have seen rare unfortunate cases where tourists sometimes fell ill. Therefore, in this post, we hope to provide you with pieces of information about common health issues in Sri Lanka and safety guidelines to keep you away from unnecessary trouble.
Okay, let’s see what are the reasons and things that can make you sick while traveling
Health Issues In Sri Lanka And Safety Guidelines You Should Know Before Visit Sri Lanka
Water In Sri Lanka
The majority of public water supplies in Sri Lanka are unsafe and cause a lot of health issues. Therefore, you cannot drink tap water while you are traveling to Sri Lanka. Drinking boiled water or purified water can be a reason to avoid gastric problems and it will keep you away from unnecessary troubles. It is also good to stay away from ice cubes and iced drinks, which are considered improperly manufactured.
Is Bottled Water Safe?
Yes, We can say bottled water in Sri Lanka is safe But there are many things that we need to consider before buying water bottles. Okay, now let’s see what they are.
The International Standards Institute and the Sri Lanka Standards Institute have issued standard certificates to ensure the quality of food. They are called ISO and SLS. Before you buy a bottle, you should check whether it has one of these two quality certificates. You can make sure that the product is safe with these quality certificates.
Also, before buying a bottle, you should check the lid of the bottle is sealed correctly. Sometimes used bottles are refilled with tap water and sold. The best way to find out is to seal the bottle with things like sellotape. If the bottles are sealed with substandard things, they are unsuitable for use.
Also, we must check the expiration date when buying bottles of water. Water does not have an expiration date, but the plastics used to make bottles have an expiration date. Therefore, we must check the expiration date before buying a bottle. Furthermore, if you want to buy a water bottle without any doubt buy water bottles from a supermarket such as Cargill Food City, Arpico, and Keels, or try to find famous water bottle brands like Knuckles, Orzone, Elephant House, etc from any shop.
Foods/ Vegetables/ Fruits in Sri Lanka
Is It Safe To Eat Street Foods?
Street food is food that is prepared and sold in a temporary place on the street or in some public places. This street food is something that can be seen widely in Sri Lanka. Many times this food is sold in a small mobile vehicle or a mobile shop. Because it is processed and sold, you can be eaten quickly. But, it is difficult to give a definite certificate about the cleanliness, quality, and health safety of the foods. Also, the Standards Institute does not issue a certificate for this street food. So we have identified that most of the time these foods cause a lot of health issues in Sri Lanka.
However, if you eat these foods, sometimes it can cause food poisoning and allergic reactions. The reason for this can be ingredients, species, and cooking methods. Therefore, it is not a good idea to eat these foods without the guidance of a local guide or without proper safety guidelines
Is It Safe To Eat Wild Fruits In Sri Lanka?
Fruits have been an integral part of the human diet since ancient times. foreigners show great interest in Sri Lanka’s wild fruits. Of course, tourists can eat these fruits, but there are some things they should know before eating them. Let’s see what they are.
Before eating these wild fruits, it is better to ask a Sri Lankan person about them. Because some of the fruits look tasty and safe but they are not. Some fruits are intoxicating or poisoned. anyway, there is no problem in eating fruits such as Mango, Rambutan, Passion fruit, sours, Banana, Orange, King Coconut, Pineapples, and Jack fruit which are common in Sri Lanka.
Are there clean toilet facilities in Sri Lanka?
It is a little bit difficult to get clean toilet facilities for those of you who are traveling to Sri Lanka. but you can follow these safety guidelines to use the toilet in Sri Lanka properly and avoid health issues.
How to use toilets in Sri Lanka?
Most of the people living in Sri Lanka use squat toilets. but it is not that difficult to use. After defecation, take a bucket of water and wash the toilets. Apart from this, commode toilets are also used in Sri Lanka. However, Sri Lankans are used to washing the anal with water after passing stool and they widely use only water. So you can see a bucket and a tap in the public toilets but not toilet paper.
Most of the time, the main problem that tourists face in Sri Lanka is that they can not find toilet paper in public toilets. But in some places where tourists come, toilet paper is kept for them. But toilet paper is not kept like that in every place. So it’s good to bring toilet paper with you at all times.
In the trains, You can see commode-type washrooms but those are very unsafe. If you sit on them without any paper toilet seat cover, You will definitely get many health issues such as rashes. So if you are a woman, bring a pee funnel and both men and women should bring toilet seat covers
Common diseases infected while traveling to Sri Lanka
Diarrhea is one of the most common health issues in Sri Lanka that can be seen among tourists visiting. It can have many causes, including serious illnesses such as typhoid or cholera, but in most cases, diarrhea is the result of contaminated food and drinks, but it will be gone naturally in a few days. However, we recommend you take clean standard food and drink to protect yourself
Hepatitis is a disease caused by a viral infection that mainly affects the liver. Hepatitis can be classified as A, B, C, D & E. It can be caused by how we eat foods or when an infected person’s blood enters our body. Usually, Hepatitis A is transmitted through eating feces mixed food and raw vegetables, and fruits, or also by drinking impure water.
So the best way to prevent Hepatitis infection is to get vaccinated before you start your trip. These vaccines should be taken in two doses at an interval of 6 months. If you take at least one dose before the trip, you can maintain a minimum partial immunity in the body and reduce the health problems caused by Hepatitis.
Another best way to keep away from the transmission of this disease is, to wash your hands frequently and eat prepared vegetables. Similarly, you should avoid using unsafe and contaminated water. Using these safety guidelines can prevent hepatitis infection while you traveling to Sri Lanka.
Typhoid is an infectious disease condition caused by contaminated food. As a side effect of this disease, fever and diarrhea. You can follow the below safety guidelines to avoid these health issues in Sri Lanka. Let’s see what is that,
You should buy food from a clean place and also use bottled water whenever possible. Similarly, it is better to reduce eating street foods as much as possible.
Tuberculosis is a disease caused by a bacterium and it is caused by a bacterium infecting the lungs. People with low immunity and people with an infection like HIV are at high risk. There are things we can follow to prevent this infection. You need to stop close contact with those who have tuberculosis. Also, You need to make sure to stay away from people who have a cough or fever. It is better to use a mask when around them.
Sri Lanka is a relatively hot and sunny country. This has been the reason many tourists visit Sri Lanka cause most of them love to be exposed to the sun. However, sunlight is good for the skin but sometimes it becomes harmful to the body. So sometimes, Visitors have to face some health issues due to the sun. Let’s see the health and safety guidelines to avoid cases occurring from Sunlight
Heat Stroke & Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke and It is a life-threatening condition that occurs when your core body temperature reaches 104 F (40 C) or higher. Heatstroke requires immediate medical attention to prevent permanent damage to your brain and other vital organs that can result in death.
Yes. Now let’s see how you can protect yourself when traveling to Sri Lanka from those harmful sun rays, burns, prickly heat, heat stroke, and exhaustion.
Exposure to the sun in the morning is less likely to cause adverse effects on the skin. However, if you feel uncomfortable with excessive heat, you should cover your body with suitable clothes. If you are traveling with small children, you should definitely prevent them from being exposed to the sun. Also, if you use sunglasses, you can prevent damage from sun rays to your eyes. If you ever get sunburned, you can follow the steps below.
When you know that your skin is burned, you should first bathe with warm water (not cold). After that, it is better if you apply calamine lotion or some aloe vera gel on this area. Also, you should drink plenty of water. This is to prevent you from getting dehydrated. Also, due to burns on the skin, itching may occur. To avoid this, we should take a good bath and wear loose clothes that are not tight on the body.
To prevent heat stroke, you need to be aware of your body temperature. Severe headache, excessive reddening of the face, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, fever, shock, confusion, etc. are the symptoms of this. If you feel such things, you should immediately take medicine.
It is estimated that there are currently over 3 million street dogs in the country. many of them suffer immensely from malnutrition, untreated diseases, and horrific injuries generally caused by humans. In this chapter, we gonna talk about health issues in Sri Lanka we get from Street dogs and the safety guidelines to prevent them.
Do Street Dogs Are Safe To Touch?
We can’t directly say whether street dogs are safe or unsafe. But we can observe them and then can decide whether they are safe or unsafe. You can feed and touch street dogs. But before that, you have to follow safety guidelines to away from inconvenience you have to face. Okay, now let’s see how to keep away from the health cases caused by street dogs.
First of all, we need to observe the behavior of the dogs. When we talk to the dogs if they wag their tails, it means they like to be friendly, but that doesn’t mean they are safe. so don’t hug them. It is unsafe. We can give them food. Before touching the dog, can be friendly but do not touch them while they are eating.
These steps will keep you away from street dog bites. After that. You should wash your hands with an antiseptic or you should use gloves before touching. If the dog is always looking below and salivating, do not go near the dog at all. It is a sign of Rabis disease. Therefore, you should be careful with street dogs.
Cause any reason, If a street dog bites you, you should follow first aid. Firstly, wash the bite area with soap and water. If the bite is bleeding, put pressure on it using clean gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding has stopped, Cover the area with a bandage or sterile gauze. then you should immediately go to the nearest government hospital or private hospital to get the medicine.
Mosquito is a familiar insect in the fly order, Diptera. Mosquitoes are known to transmit serious diseases, including yellow fever, Zika fever, malaria, filariasis, and dengue. Because of this insect, Sri Lankans get huge health issues per year. Let’s see what are they and how to prevent them
Malaria is a disease that enters our body through a plasmodium parasite mosquito. In the country, the transmission of malaria has been controlled. But there is a risk of falling victim to this disease at any time. Most of the time this mosquito bites from the evening to the morning.
Let’s see now what safety guidelines we should follow to minimize these health problems.
Chemo prophylactic antimalarial drugs can be taken according to medical advice before starting your trip. But it cannot be guaranteed that this will provide complete protection. Therefore, suitable protective measures should be followed.
Dengue fever is also spread by a mosquito. They bite mostly during the daytime. Dengue fever can be infected at any time period of the year in anywhere the country. It spreads rapidly due to climate change, rapid urbanization, and population growth. Outbreaks are usually seasonal, peak time is during the rainy season in the months of October and November and after those months.
There are no vaccines to prevent this but the Sri Lankan health system is quite enough to manage dengue patients. but avoid traveling to Sri Lanka during the peak times of spreading dengue to reduce the risk. also, you can reduce dengue risk by staying away from mosquito bites.
How To Avoid Mosquito Bites In Sri Lanka?
To prevent mosquito bites and the resulting health issues in Sri Lanka, we can follow the guidelines below. Because most mosquito is active from evening to dawn, avoid mosquito bites as much as possible during that time. That is the first safe path. During that time you can keep the room windows and doors closed and also use a mosquito net during the night.
Furthermore, you can use mosquito repellents, mosquito sprays, mats, or vaporizers. These can be bought from any supermarket in Sri Lanka. And you can also wear clothes to cover your arms and legs.
anyhow, if you get sick while on tour or a week after travel, you should meet a doctor immediately and get the necessary advice.
In Sri Lanka, there are 108 species of snakes from 11 families, including 16 species of sea snakes. Snakes are categorized according to the amount of venom they contain. As a result, there are four different kinds of snakes in Sri Lanka. These are non-venom, acute venom, moderate venom, and little venom. The five deadliest snakes in Sri Lanka with the greatest venom are the Cobra, Russell’s viper, saw-scaled viper, Sri Lankan Krait, and common krait.
How To Avoid Snake Bites In Sri Lanka?
There are many different types of snakes in Sri Lanka. You will not see snakes in every place you visit in the country. anyway, Sri Lanka gets a lot of Snake bite cases per year. But, If we follow safety methods, Snakes do not harm us. Okay, let’s see what they are.
If you are traveling to mountains and jungles like Knuckles and Sinharaja Forest Reserve, you should hire a naturalist or experienced guide. The reason for that is that snakes commonly can be seen in these environments. also If you see a snake on your path, Stay away from the snake until it leaves or you can chase it using a long stick. Never ever close to it and don’t try to touch it. Also, you can change your path without going through the snake
Leeches are another type of worm found on the island. Generally, they are found in wet areas. Mostly common in such as rainforests, and tea fields.
How To Avoid Leeches Bites In Sri Lanka?
If you are not traveling in wet areas or mountains, then you don’t have to worry about them. But if you are traveling there you should use leeches shocks. You have to buy them yourself. Apart from this, before climbing the mountains or entering the forest, soapy water can be applied to the body. This causes the leech to lose its grip and slip.
Furthermore, you can also carry a bottle of soapy water or salty water and an antiseptic solution. Similarly, if you see a leech hanging there, you can put a little bit of salty water and remove the leeches from the body. After that, you should wash the wound well and apply an antiseptic. By following these methods, you can avoid health issues.
What should do when sick in Sri Lanka?
If you get sick while traveling to Sri Lanka, it is not difficult to get treatment. There are government hospitals in every city and they full free of charge. In case of illness, you can get medicine from a government hospital full free. An expert staff is working in those hospitals. You can also get treatment from private hospitals in Colombo and other areas
Now you know most of the common cases that Sri Lankans face per year. As a responsible tour operator and great hospitality provider, We consider it our responsibility to help you protect your health condition while traveling to Sri Lanka. Therefore, we have provided you with the possible health issues in Sri Lanka and safety guidelines in this article. You can minimize the risk of health cases by following the instructions in this article.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is it safe to drink tap water in Sri Lanka?
It’s generally advisable to drink bottled water, as tap water may not be safe for consumption.
- What vaccinations are recommended for traveling to Sri Lanka?
Consult your healthcare provider for up-to-date recommendations, but commonly, vaccinations for hepatitis A, typhoid, and tetanus are suggested.
- Are there any specific safety concerns for female travelers in Sri Lanka?
Female travelers should exercise the same precautions as male travelers but be particularly mindful of their surroundings and avoid risky situations.
- Is it essential to have travel insurance when visiting Sri Lanka?
Travel insurance is highly recommended, as it can provide financial coverage for medical emergencies and other unexpected situations.
- What are the emergency contact numbers in Sri Lanka?
The emergency number for police is 119, and for medical emergencies, it’s 110. Make sure to have these numbers handy during your trip.