Health Advice 

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The suggestions and recommendations on this page are not  intended as a substitute for professional advice. You are encouraged to confirm all health-related information contained herein with other sources, and to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider. Use of the information provided in this web site is at your own risk and responsability.

Going to the Pyramid International Laboratory/Observatory means visiting a semi-tropical environment (Nepal) with a stop for a few days in Kathmandu at 1,350 m a.s.l. (4,429 ft), a week-long trek at an altitude between 2,800 m (9,186 ft) and 5,050 m (16,568 ft), a stay at 5,050 m and another three days trekking on the way back.

We suggest getting at least a basic check-up prior to departure, and discussing the following vaccinations with your doctor. None of these prophylaxis are required by law.
•    Tetanus
•    Hepatitis
•    Malaria 

Apart from high altitude related illnesses such as acute mountain sickness (never to be underestimated considering the remoteness of the areas we are dealing with), it is important to follow some basic practical guidelines:
•    Promptly communicate any abnormal and even minor physical problems which might be connected to altitude to your group leader
•    Increase altitude gradually (above 4000 m, ascend by 300 m/day)
•    Control physical activity (reduce physical exertion, maintain an average low rate of effort)
•    Stay hydrated
•    In case of mild acute mountain sickness: interrupt your ascent, spend an extra day acclimatizing 
•    In case of acute mountain sickness: descend to the previous night's stop
 
Doctors often suggest having some common medicine on hand during the trek. Also, do not forget to bring a sufficient supply of any personal medications needed from home:
•    Diamox (a diuretic) has apparent positive side effects which help acclimatization by increasing ventilation. It should be taken in the evenings to get increased benefit at night above 3,500-4,000 m (11,482 - 13,123 ft), or sooner if you have mild altitude-related ailments (like headache)
•    Aspirin - often low temperatures can make you more susceptible to catching a cold
•    Antibiotics for bacterial (respiratory and digestive tract) infections
•    Products to disinfect drinking water (even if boiled water and tea or hot drinks, bottled water, and soft drinks are easily available for hydration)
•    Hard candy or throat lozenges to keep the upper respiratory area moist in the dry Himalayan climate
•    High protection factor UVA and UVB lotions or creams 

Other general recommendations include:

•    Eating: do not drink water if it has not been boiled first or if it comes from unsealed bottles. Avoid raw vegetables and meat. Wash and disinfect your hands before eating anything.
•    Regarding physical activities: avoid useless exertion, such as carrying a rucksack that is too heavy, running after your group when you've stopped to take a picture or hiking at an unnecessarily rapid pace; stay hydrated; do not panic if you feel tired or short of breath - it's normal at high altitude.
•    For proper protection always wear appropriate clothes against the cold and rain as well as against the sun. If you feel cold, do not walk faster to warm up. Add  more layers instead!

 
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