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“Can I eat this?” – New Travel app from The CDC

Most of us travelers know that no travel app can guarantee you won’t get sick. And that washing your hands frequently may be one of the most important ways to combat diarrhea, as well as eating off clean plates, cups, and utensils. We’ve talked about this at length in the free book, ” The Top Three Risks When Traveling Overseas”( www.dontgetstuckoverseas.com) because dirty dishes, or those washed in dirty water can get you sick just as fast as bad food. As a traveler, you know that the risk of getting kidnapped or having your plane go down over water, or of a new Mount Vesuvius blowing up while you are visiting “Pompeii” is pretty remote, BUT the risk of getting a serious case of food poisoning or getting hit by a car while snapping a photo or having something traveling down the road (or tied to a vehicle traveling down the road) striking you while you are minding your own business on the sidewalk is a very real concern (or should be!).

Welcome the CDC (U.S. Center for Disease Control) and their new travel app, CAN I EAT THIS, free on the Android/Google Play store and iPhone App Store.

As stated, the CDC health app is free. It begins by asking you where you are, or where you are traveling to.
You choose a country and then decide if it’s food or drink you are concerned about. You are led through a quick menu of A or B choices, and then given a Green check or a Red warning – Then it’s up to you to decide whether to take a chance or not.

While not as “in-depth” or helpful as the CDC site itself ( http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/travelers-diarrhea), or other apps I can think of (or even specific instructions to prevent or reduce the effects of diarrhea if you have already got it – for that try our Travelers Medical e-Guide by Dr. Jon Askew or “The Top Three Risks” e-book above), the app is simple, fun and handy. If it causes you to think twice, it has done it’s work. So we at Good Neighbor Insurance recommend it, although reading through some of the other ratings, it appears some travelers think it errs on the side of being a little too cautious. Download it and decide for yourself.

According to the CDC Yellow Book, 30-70% of all travelers will get diarrhea to some extent. This is a pretty sad and sobering statistic esp. if you’ve ever had serious stomach cramping OR serious problems that have kept you from your trip itinerary or for performing on your short-term project.

For more on the CDC App announcement, you can go to http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/06/10/cdc-app-helps-travelers-avoid-diarrhea/ (but be forewarned, there are quite a few annoying ads and pop-ups that make the story difficult to actually read).

Besides the free recommended guide “The Top Three Travel Risks,” The New York Times also ran a good article on preventing and dealing with traveler’s diarrhea in their “Traveler’s Guide to Avoiding Infectious Diseases” at http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/specialtopic/travelers-guide-to-avoiding-infectious-diseases/traveler%27s-diarrhea.html

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