Re altitude sickness

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Only those who have witnessed Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) will fully appreciate Dr. Larry Baratta’s May ’05 “Travel & Health” column on that subject. I’ve observed its debilitating effects twice: in an elderly man crossing from Pakistan into China on the Karakorum Highway at more than 15,000 feet and in a young physical education instructor in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. In the first case, we had to descend quickly, and in the other the woman stayed in the lodge during the only two days we were at this 10,000-foot elevation.

As tours seldom give travelers the necessary time to acclimate for high elevations, and as drugs may or may not reduce the effects of AMS, I’d recommend as Dr. Baratta does: if you’re unsure how you’ll be affected, visit a high-elevation location in the U.S. before going on an expensive exotic trip to some place like Tibet.

ED KINNEY
Contributing Editor

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

Only those who have witnessed Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) will fully appreciate Dr. Larry Baratta’s May ’05 “Travel & Health” column on that subject. I’ve observed its debilitating effects twice: in an elderly man crossing from Pakistan into China on the Karakorum Highway at more than 15,000 feet and in a young physical education instructor in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. In the first case, we had to descend quickly, and in the other the woman stayed in the lodge during the only two days we were at this 10,000-foot elevation.

As tours seldom give travelers the necessary time to acclimate for high elevations, and as drugs may or may not reduce the effects of AMS, I’d recommend as Dr. Baratta does: if you’re unsure how you’ll be affected, visit a high-elevation location in the U.S. before going on an expensive exotic trip to some place like Tibet.

ED KINNEY
Contributing Editor