Vital Signs: You know to avoid drinking unfiltered water and steer clear of unwashed produce, but taking a dip in a lake can give you traveler’s diarrhea you won’t soon forget. Escherichia coli bacteria can end up in water thanks to hot weather, heavy rainfall, waste from wildlife—even swimmers. (Next time you have to take a leak, hold it until you get back to shore. Please.) Ingesting lake water is the surest way to get sick, so whether you’re packing a beach bag or traveling overseas, prepare in advance by asking your doc for an antibiotic prescription before you go. Over-the-counter meds like Pepto-Bismol will help with milder cases too.
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