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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS

Heat Illness

Heat exhaustion occurs following heavy sweating and excessive fluid loss with inadequate replacement of fluids and salt. This is particularly common in hot climates when taking unaccustomed exercise before full acclimatisation include headache, dizziness and tiredness. Dehydration is already happening by the time you feel thirsty - aim to drink sufficient water such that you produce pale, diluted urine. The treatment of heat exhaustion consists of fluid replacement with water, fruit juice or both and cooling by cold water and fans. The treatment of the salt loss components consist of consuming salty fruits such as soup or broth and adding a little more table salt to foods than usual.

Heat stroke is much more serious. This occurs when the body's heat-regulating mechanism breaks down. And excessive rise in body temperature leads to sweating ceasing, irrational and hyperactive behavior and eventually loss of consciousness and death. Rapid cooling by spraying the body with water and fanning is an ideal treatment. Emergency fluid and electrolyte replacement by intravenous drip is usually also required.

 

Insect Bites & Stings

Even if mosquitoes do not carry malaria, they can cause irritation and infected bites. Using DEET-based insect repellents will prevent bites. Mosquitoes also spread dengue fever. 

There is a risk of bee stings along the Aegean and Mediterranean coastal areas. Bees and wasps only cause real problems for those with a severe allergy(anaphylaxis). If you have a severe allergy to bee or wasp stings you should carry and adrenaline injection or something similar. There is a particularly higher risk of bee stings in the area around Marmaris in southwest Turkey.

 Sandflies are located around the Mediterranean beaches. They usually only cause a nasty, itchy bite, but can carry a rare skin disorder called cutaneous leishmaniasis; use a DEET-based repellents to avoid bites.

 Scorpions are frequently found in arid or dry climates. Turkey’s small white scorpions can give a painful bite which will bother you for up to 24 hours but they won't kill you.

 

Snake Bites

Do not walk barefoot or stick your hand into holes or cracks. If bitten by a snake, do not panic. Half of those bitten by venomous snakes are not actually injected with poison (envenomed). Immobilize the beaten limb with a splint (eg a stick) and apply a bandage over the site, with firm pressure, similar to applying a bandage over a sprain. Do not apply a tourniquet or cut or suck the bite. Get the victim to medical help as soon as possible so that antivenin can be given if necessary.

 

Water

It is probably not wise to drink Turkey’s tap water if you are only here on a short visit. Stick to bottled water, boil water for 10 minutes or use water purification tablets or a filter.. Do not drink water from rivers or lakes since it may contain bacteria or viruses that can cause diarrhoea or vomiting.