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Monday, March 31, 2008

Common Illlnesses In Indonesia

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Common Illlnesses In Indonesia

The most common adult and childhood illnesses are the same as those in your country eg. coughs, colds and flu and ear infections but there is a higher incidence of stomach upsets with associated vomiting and diarrhoea.

Gastrointestinal Infections:
• There is a wide range of these infections including eg Travelers’ diarrhoea, food poisoning,
• Hepatitis A, Typhoid Fever, parasites eg Giardia and Entamoeba.
• These infections are transmitted by the faecal-oral route from contaminated food or water. “If you can’t cook it, peel it or boil it, leave it”
• Avoid infection simply by careful food handling and food choice, eg avoid shellfish, raw fish and salads, do not drink tap water.

Most expats will suffer at least one bout of this very common problem. Treatment:
- Fluid replacement eg water or Gastrolyte.
- Do not use lemonade etc.
- Avoid dairy foods for a few days.
- Take Imodium to control diarrhoea.
• If you have a high fever, if you feel very ill, if you pass blood or if the Diarrhoea persists for more than 3 days or if you are worried then see a doctor.

Skin conditions:
• Fungal infections such as Tinea, Thrush and Ringworm are common.
• Wear cool clothing, dry feet & skin creases thoroughly after showering.
• Topical fungicidal creams eg Canesten are available over the counter.

Ear Infections:
• Swimmers ear or Tropical Ear is a very painful, common condition. It does not indicate a dirty pool. • Aqua Ear should be used after swimming to dry the ears particularly if you or your children frequently use the pool. • Ear plugs may help but are rarely completely effective.

• Coughs and colds and flu are more frequent in Indonesia especially in
new arrivals.
• Treat with bed rest, extra fluids and Paracetamol or Proprietary Cold Flu
preparations. Antibiotics are not effective. • If you feel particularly unwell or in doubt about the problem see a doctor

Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
• These are very common especially Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia. Less common are Genital Herpes, Genital Warts and Syphilis. IV drug use is extremely dangerous.
• Hepatitis B is very common in Indonesia and can be transmitted sexually.
• HIV/ AIDS is uncommon but the incidence is increasing.
• Safe sex is essential. Avoid using local brand condoms.
Reputable brands of condoms are available from the clinic, hospital or pharmacies.

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