Health

DESTINATIONS morocco health-33

TRAVEL TIPS

Health

Although Moroccan water is generally safe to drink (in cities at least), it's better to drink only bottled water and canned or bottled soft drinks to be on the safe side. Look for the blue-and-white labels of Morocco’s most popular bottled mineral water, called Sidi Ali. Try to resist the temptation to add ice to room-temperature beverages. Use reasonable precautions and eat only fully cooked foods, but if you have problems, mild cases of diarrhea may respond to Imodium (known generically as Loperamide) or Pepto-Bismol. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids; if you can't keep fluids down, seek medical help immediately.

In summer, heatstroke and dehydration are big risks to travelers and Moroccans alike. Be sure to drink plenty of water and rest in the shade any chance you get. If you do get dehydrated, pharmacies sell rehydration salts called Biosel. Sunscreen is widely available in pharmacies and specialty cosmetic stores but is outrageously expensive. Pack your own.

Note that scorpions, snakes, and biting insects live in the desert regions. These rarely pose a problem, but it wouldn't hurt to shake out your shoes in the morning. Dog bites pose the risk of rabies; always get a rabies vaccination at the earliest possible opportunity if you are bitten. Fez has seen an inordinate amount of stray cats within the medina. Avoid petting these cute critters that weave in and out of narrow passageways, feeding on refuse.

Medical care is available but varies in quality. The larger cities have excellent private clinics. The rest of the country depends on government-run smaller clinics and dispensaires. The cost of medical care is low—an office consultation and exam will cost 250 DH. Seeing a specialist can cost up to 500 DH. While medical facilities can be quite adequate in urban areas, English-speaking medical help is rare.

Over-the-Counter Remedies

Nearly all medicines, including antibiotics and painkillers, are available over the counter at Moroccan pharmacies. Aspirin is sold as Aspro; ibuprofen is sold as Analgyl, Algantyl, or Tabalon. Acetaminophen, the generic equivalent of Tylenol, is sold as Doliprane and is widely available.

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