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Why Do not Go to Tibet When Catching a Cold?

We all know it is not suggested to visit Tibet when catching a cold, but what’s the potential risk of heading for Tibet when catching a cold, and why do not go to Tibet if you are suffering from a cold?

Altitude sickness and catching a cold

When catching a cold, your immune system shall be weak and you may suffer high altitude sickness easily because of it. Altitude sickness is the negative health effect of high altitude, caused by rapid exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high elevation. Symptoms of high altitude may include headaches, vomiting, tiredness, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. In addition, it takes a long time for a cold to heal in a plateau.

Pulmonary edema and catching a cold

Usually, people with colds are with inflammation of the trachea and lungs, which can lower the body resistance. Low levels of oxygen in the plateau may easily convert colds into other high altitude diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia or pulmonary edema. Pulmonary edema is a high-risk plateau disease which can be easily induced by colds.

High altitude pulmonary edema refers to the people who just arrive at the plateau with difficulty in breathing when resting, chest tightness, coughing, pink phlegm, and weak or reduced mobility. The incidence of high altitude pulmonary edema is high, and it usually occurs when one first enters the plateau or it happens within a week. If not treated in time, it will be life-threatening.

Difficulties in effective and timely treatment in Tibet

Let alone the language barrier, although the conditions of health facilities in Lhasa have considerably improved in recent years, they are not as advanced as major cities such as Chengdu, and it is extremely difficult to get timely and effective treatment for dangerous high altitude diseases such as pulmonary edema when in remote areas.

What should I do if I caught a cold in Tibet?

Catching a cold in Tibet is not dangerous. Because after staying on a high altitude, your body develops some adaptability and resistance. Doctors in Tibet are very experienced in treating colds, you can get timely treatment and get better soon.

Tips to prevent catching a cold in Tibet

You can bring some medicine for colds to prevent it from happening. A body examination before heading to Tibet is of great importance. If you are catching a cold, please postpone your visit.

To avoid catching a cold, it is not suggested to take a shower, especially in the first three days. Due to the huge temperature variation between day and night, tourists are easy to get a cold after a shower. Taking a good rest, eating healthy food, and drinking enough water is good for your health when in Tibet.

Whenever you find yourself catching a cold or suffering the worse health condition, don’t hesitate to let the tour guide know and resort to doctor if necessary.

Master Catherine Jigme

About the Author - Master Catherine Jigme

With exceptional passion and outstanding leadership, Mrs. Catherine has dedicated herself to Tibet inbound tourism and China tour for 15 years. As one of the handful females who see great potential of Chinese inbound tourism, Catherine has made great contribution to promoting Tibet tourism and enhancing the employment of Tibetans and prosperity of local Tibetan community.

Over the years, she travelled overseas with Tibet Tourism Bureau many times to promote Tibet tourism. Currently, Catherine works as the marketing director of Tibet Vista, an opinion leader behind the whole team of Tibet Vista.

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