Planning a trip to Egypt and concerned about the notorious Egyptian Tummy Bug?  No need to pack medication in your suitcase.  If you do get the tummy bug it is unlikely that remedies you bring from home will clear it and you need to get it out of your system and not just treat the symptoms by stopping vomiting or diarrhea.

Egyptian Tummy Bug SYMPTOMS

You know you have the tummy bug if you get a combination of some or all of the following and the symptoms gradually worsen.  But don’t wait too long before taking action, usually about 3 hours is enough for you to be sure

  • first sign may be a general feeling of being unwell
  • bloated, squish feeling in your stomach/bowel area
  • feeling of nausea
  • stomach cramps,
  • hot or cold sweats
  • feel like you have a virus
  • no energy
  • want to sleep
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

6 SOURCES of the tummy bug other than food

  1. TOUCHING ANYTHING ANYWHERE INDOORS (most structures such as hand rails that are in the sun are unlikely to have surface bacteria on them)
  2. Money
  3. Toilet flushers
  4. Door handles
  5. Hand-shakes! Everyone in Egypt wants to shake your hand!
  6. Wiping the sweat from your face with hands that have picked up something such as money then maybe licking your lips!

Popular MISCONCEPTIONS about FOOD in Egypt

Misconception 1:

  • You can’t drink the tap water:  While it’s not accurate to label all tap water in Egypt as dangerous, there might be instances when it’s not safe for consumption.  Just like in many other countries, there could be times when tap water quality is compromised, even in places like Egypt.  This phenomenon of occasional water quality concerns is not unique and is something that various countries, including yours, might experience.  I know we frequently do in Ireland.  The tap water in Egypt is treated just like it is in every country.  However, the chemical composition used in the water treatment may be different from country to country and cause stomach upset to those with sensitive stomachs  This doesn’t necessarily mean you should completely avoid using tap water for such things as brushing your teeth, but it’s important not to become overly anxious about it.

Misconception 2:

  • You should not eat fruit or vegetables that may have been washed in tap water: Hotels and restaurants are well-versed in the procedures for cleansing fruits and vegetables, employing a mixture of water, white vinegar, and occasionally baking soda.  Egypt boasts a delightful array of fresh fruits and vegetables available throughout the year, and it would be unfortunate to miss out on the joy of savoring them.  However, it’s important to exercise caution regarding the quality of the dining establishments you choose.  While indulging in street food might be tempting, I don’t recommend it.  The same food offerings from street vendors can also be found in reputable restaurants.  In today’s digital age, with the prevalence of internet reviews, restaurants are highly motivated to uphold rigorous food hygiene standards and avoid any negative publicity.  Here is my short post on fruit and salads, including directions to the fresh food market in Luxor.


We all have unique bodies, and certain factors can trigger an upset stomach for some individuals, which is distinct from food poisoning.:

  • Excessive consumption of carbonated beverages like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Fanta in hot and sunny conditions.
  • Sipping icy beverages while exposed to the sun or immediately after returning from the heat can lead to stomach discomfort.  Your internal body temperature tends to be higher than usual, and the abrupt intake of extremely cold drinks can shock your system, potentially causing stomach issues. It’s advisable to wait for around 30 minutes before indulging in chilled beverages.  Opting for lukewarm water, even from the bottle you’ve carried throughout the day under the sun, is a better choice. This will help quench your thirst, rehydrate your body – a crucial aspect, especially in such conditions.
  • Cold showers after coming in from the sun also shocks your system.  It is cooling down the body exterior while the core temp remains hot.  Wait at least 30 mins or take a warm shower.
  • Drinking too much alcohol in the heat/sun – cold beer doesn’t seem to have as bad an effect as drinking spirits in the sun.
  • A common mistake among tourists is overexerting themselves in unfamiliar high temperatures.  Trying to cover numerous locations and activities in a short span can lead to physical exhaustion.  This can manifest as a sudden need for rest, often accompanied by an initial sensation of discomfort in the stomach.  Pay heed to your intuition – sometimes, your gut feeling can be the first sign that your body requires a break.  Tourists often misinterpret their symptoms, believing they’ve contracted a stomach bug or food poisoning, when in reality, they might be experiencing heat exhaustion.
  • Sampling unfamiliar cuisine can also lead to an upset stomach.  It’s important to note that the majority (99%) of food available in Egyptian hotels and restaurants is made from fresh, natural ingredients rather than processed alternatives.  While this ensures you’re indulging in nourishing and wholesome meals, your stomach might require a day or two to acclimate to processing a new array of food.  This adjustment period could potentially lead to more frequent bowel movements than you’re accustomed to.

The sad thing about the 100 British tourists falling ill after sickness bug sweeps through Egyptian resort leaving some on drips debacle is that none of these people read my blog 🙁 because if they had they need not have gone through this idiocy!  And what they don’t say in the story is that the most likely culprit was money – the fastest way to spread a bacteria bug!

Quick RECOVERY from Egyptian Tummy Bug – the SECRET

The major misconception that many people make is assuming that their discomfort will subside on its own.  However, it’s important to acknowledge that this may not be the case, as the issue could persist and even dominate your thoughts.  The concern of potentially being unable to reach a restroom promptly can also exacerbate the situation.  Fortunately, all hotel and cruise ship reception areas are willing to provide assistance at no cost.  The way to a swift recovery lies in taking timely action. If you’ve ingested harmful bacteria, a specific type of antibiotic is usually necessary; consuming ample water alone won’t eliminate the problem.  “Antinal” is tailored for addressing bacterial issues in regions like Egypt and can be particularly effective.  Regarded as the top remedy for the Egyptian Tummy Bug, taking one or two Antinal tablets can provide relief within a couple of hours.  Quick action is key, so make sure to take the tablets as soon as you notice any symptoms of the tummy bug.

Caution: After reading my positive assessment of Antinal for alleviating tummy troubles, I urge you to resist the temptation of using it as a preventive measure. Remember, Antinal is an antibiotic meant to be taken exclusively when you are actually have the tummy bug and NOT as a precautionary step.

TIP – Buy Antina: Upon your arrival in Egypt, make it a priority to visit the nearest pharmacy without delay and purchase a packet of Antinal.  This remedy is quite affordable, just a few Egyptian pounds, and sometimes, the peace of mind of merely having a solution readily available can be sufficient to prevent any issues from arising.

It’s a matter of common sense to preemptively address a stomach issue with the right medication before it escalates from your stomach to your intestines.  Similar to how you would promptly reach for an antacid tablet in the case of heartburn, taking timely action is crucial.  If you’re experiencing discomfort, make sure to inform the reception staff at your hotel or cruise boat. They are always equipped with Antinal in case you haven’t brought your own supply.

DANGER of not Treating Egyptian Tummy Bug

A number of individuals who generally prioritize their health might assume that they can simply flush out bacteria by consuming copious amounts of water.  Moreover, some people are averse to taking medications.  I would be one of those people.  However, the danger of not treating the Egyptian tummy bug properly is that you could take it home with you.  From personal experience, I consistently opt for Antinal as soon as I detect symptoms of a tummy bug.  I would not wish a severe bout of tummy bug on my worst enemy.

The following is an excerpt from just one email I received from a guest after they left Mara House, having contracted the tummy bug.  He had not been feeling well for a couple of days before arrival but was not bad enough to require staying in bed etc.  He tried to battle through without medicine “By the way the stomach bug I got turned into full blown Colitis and acute Gastroenteritis.  Had to get a Doctor to come to the Hotel as I lost 5kgs in a day.  My blood presure dropped and I was on the verge of collapse.  They put me on a series of drips over the next 24 hrs and today I feel a lot better.  On a strict diet for the next 3 days (toast, rice, clear soup).  Should be right to travel to London tomorrow.”

I repeat: Upon your arrival in Egypt, make it a priority to visit the nearest pharmacy without delay and purchase a packet of Antinal.  And take anti-bacterial wipes or little bottles of anti-bacterial hand wash with you – THEN relax and enjoy the good food available – happy in the knowledge that you have the remedy in your bag should you BEGIN to experience tummy discomfort.  It would be a shame to miss out on sampling Egyptian food because you are afraid of something that MIGHT happen.


In conclusion, when embarking on a trip to Egypt, understanding the potential challenges like the Egyptian Tummy Bug and how to address them is essential for a smooth and enjoyable journey. Antinal, available at Egyptian pharmacies, stands as a reliable solution to swiftly alleviate any discomfort. Remember, quick action is key.  While misconceptions about food and water in Egypt persist, exercising caution and being proactive with Antinal can ensure a worry-free exploration of the country’s rich cuisine and culture.  Prioritize your well-being and always have Antinal at hand, not only for your trip but as a valuable travel companion. Happy travels!

Final Tip – Take Antinal home with you:  Take a packet of Antinal back home with you.  It’s unlikely that you’ll find it readily available in your local pharmacy, and your doctors might encounter challenges in dealing with it if you happen to fall ill on your last day in Egypt.

Most Common Questions Asked About Egypt


One Comment

  1. Tummy bug. We took Mara’s advice, enjoyed some great food (salads as well) – had our hand lotion and wipes, washed hands (normal routine stuff) and we were ok. Others we met brushed their teeth in tap water on the cruise – the sign said not to – and became rather green under the gills! That would be expected from not following advice. It is all tried and tested this stuff. I carry around my box of antinal we got when we arrived, still unopened but as a fond memory.

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