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Health and Safety Precautions

Malaria in India

While the risk of Malaria exists everywhere in India “including cities of Bombay (Mumbai) and Delhi, except none in areas >2,000 m (6,561 ft) in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Sikkim” (according to CDC), as WHO suggests that risk of falciparum malaria and drug resistance are relatively higher in the north-eastern states… West Bengal (with the exception of the city of Kolkata). Since our program is based in Kolkata but involves travel to Delhi, Mumbai and the Northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh we will advice students to take standard vaccinations advised by their doctors before travelling. Here’s what CDC has to say:

Areas with malaria:  All areas throughout the country, including cities of Bombay (Mumbai) and Delhi, except none in areas >2,000 m (6,561 ft) in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Sikkim.

Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: Moderate

Drug resistancec:  Chloroquine

Malaria species: P. vivax 40%, P. falciparum 20%–40%, remainder P. malariae and P. ovale.

Recommended chemoprophylaxis:  Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.

Diarrhea is often a problem when traveling outside your own country, so it would be wise to bring anti-diarrheal medicine. Its best not to eat raw vegetables as they may not always be washed properly. Try eating fruits only after peeling the outer skin off and washing the fruit thoroughly. Dairy products from small vendors which may not be pasteurized have a chance of becoming stale in hot weather. So take care with milk products. 

We recommend that you drink only bottled water while in India. Water boiled for over 10 minutes is the safest option. Hot beverages are safe to an extent too. 

We can’t guaranty that you find toilet paper in public bathrooms, so be sure to carry some tissues with you when out shopping or touring. Travel insurance will not cover injuries which result from intoxication, so keep alcohol consumption to a minimum when enjoying evening outings. Should the need arise, there will be convenient clinics for minor complaints and modern hospitals for more serious conditions.


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