Altitude and Illness
Health & Medical:
We do not wish to get sick during our trip but it might get some sort of sickness and you will fell unpleasant during your holidays. There are few steps that you can prevent before you get unwell. Headache, Nausea, Shore throat, Diarrhea etc. are the common illness which generally appears on the trip. If you are traveling above 2500 meter from the see level you may get affect from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
Prevention for General Illness:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water especially after using the toilet.
- Drink bottled water. Brush your teeth with bottled water and do not swallow the shower water while you are taking shower.
- Try not to eat uncooked foods. Peel all fruit.
- Drink plenty of water
- Consult your doctors before you leave for your trip
- Send your medical history to your travel agent or tour operator if you are traveling with/through any travel agent.
- Bring your prescription medications with you.
- Heat exhaustion
- Acute mountain sickness Protect from
- Chafing & Itching
Acute Mountain Sickness: When we go up to higher altitudes, our body needs to acclimatize to the diminishing amount of oxygen existing. Failure to acclimatize and climbing up quickly to 2500 meters or above will cause the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
AMS is the most common illness for trekkers. This is not life threatening. We can prevent AMS. If we ignore AMS, it will usually change into High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) which are life-threatening.
Prevention of AMS, HACE & HAPE:
- Go up slowly
- Take plenty of rest in high altitude
- Stay away from exertion
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, excess salt and too much protein
- Do not take any sleeping tablets, antihistamines or strong painkillers
- Think about taking Diamox
- Do not go on a high altitude trek by yourself. Consider going with a guide.
- Always wear a hat, cap or beanie.
In Nepal, emergency rescue can be organized by Helicopter. Royal Nepal army and some other private helicopters are used for emergency rescue. You need to leave all the required information at your travel/trekking office. There must be a guaranty of payment for the rescue helicopter. Generally it will cost about US$1200 per hour. This can usually be reimbursed back to you by your insurance company.
Tibet does not have helicopter service yet. It has only car or jeep service by land.