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Getting Cured

It is easy to get cured

It is hard to be careful, and many tourists do get sick, but you can get help. Visits to the doctor in Mexico are amazingly cheap, usually $4 - $10 dollars. The smart thing to do is head to the doctor at the first sign of sickness. Common symptoms are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and stomach cramps. Hepatitis can also cause yellow or orange skin, eyes, or urine. It could be minor Traveler's diarrhea, but it is worth the $4 to avoid problems with an undiagnosed serious illness. Be prepared to tell your doctor the basics about your symptoms - number of "episodes" a day, blood in the stool, length of illness, etc.

Puerto Morelas, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras and Tulum all have easy to find doctors. Outside of Cancun, Playa del Carmen has the widest selection of medical services. The Red Cross 984 873 1233, on Juarez near the post office, will see patients for 40 pesos ($5). They are used to dealing with tourists, and even if you don't speak Spanish they will try to help you. There is a decent doctor in town, Dr. Roberto Bermudez 984 873 0512, who speaks basic English. Dr. Cesar Ramirez speaks some English and makes house calls in his ambulance (about $100) 984 876 2175. Dr. Nestor Mendoza Gutierrez offers service out of Akumal 44-984-80-6-46-16 and 984 875 4051. All of them will want to give you a shot, even for an earache. Your hotel can also recommend English speaking physicians. In Cancun, there are several hospitals with facilities for emergencies.

Prevention is the best cure

If you can't get to the doctor, rest and rehydration is the best treatment. Drink plenty of water and Gatorade, avoid dairy products, and eat crackers or toast for a day or so. Experts don't recommend anti-diarrheals like Pepto Bismo or Lomotal because they can mask serious problems and keep bacteria growing inside, unable to get out. Gross.

Over the counter drugs

Except for a few addictive or otherwise controlled drugs, like Valium or Codeine, you can get medications from the pharmacist without a prescription. They are made by Mexican drug companies, so the names will be different than what you are used to. The pharmacist can look up the chemical content of the drug you want and tell you what the Mexican brand name is. Many are illegal to bring into the US without a doctor's prescription, so beware. You don't want to end up in a Mexican jail for bringing 200 Prozac pills because they are cheaper here.

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