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Drinking water and vaccinations - the Baltics

Hi, threads on this topic date back to 2011 so I'll submit my question.
Is it safe to eat fruits and salad prepared at a restaurant or brush teeth or put a warm compress on eyes in the Baltic States? I've read that Latvia can be a concern.
Also, are vaccines necessary when visiting these countries?
Thank you

Posted by
5308 posts

Finland-- my daughter spent a high'school year living in northern Finland and drank tap water, ate what the family ate, went to restaurants and parties...no problem.

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks LauraB! Ya, I don't think Finland will be a problem at all.

Posted by
25 posts

Stan, do you think the CDC is over-cautious?

Posted by
9110 posts

CDC over-cautious ? Of course not, they're just a cover-your-butt bureaucracy.

There's a few places in Africa and Asia where I keep my shots up, and a few more around the world where I stay away from the water - - the Baltics ain't one of either by a long shot.

Posted by
16769 posts

We don't have any concerns about drinking tap water in Tallinn, Estonia and I also find no warnings related to Riga, Latvia (in the N. Cruise Ports book), but we avoid tap water in St. Petersburg. Russia. I can't address other cities or countries.

Posted by
8293 posts

I did a tour of the Baltic capitals a few years ago. Everyone drank the tap water with no ill effects.

Posted by
5005 posts

Hilda, overcautious? I think it is impossible to make any generalization about a whole country in regards to health & safety that is not overcautious. Even the US. At least CDC has to justify their recommendations with data and judgment of the sanitary conditions, health standards and the infrastructure, not just anecdotes. CDC is run by commissioned officers of the Public Health Service, one of the US uniformed services, and just as honorable as any other. I am not affiliated with them, just have worked with CDC folks on occasion.

Still its just a guide. The way I interpret a "bottled water only" or food safety advisory is to not expect that conditions and standards are the same as in the US, and make your own decisions. I might drink the tap water in a modern hotel in a big city, but not in a rundown village. Some people like to take chances and others don't. It doesn't mean you will or won't get sick, just that your chances are greater than in other places.

Posted by
10255 posts

Because this is a medical question, you might want to pay particular attention to any advice you happen to get from someone with medical training. There are two physicians on this site and I don't think either has posted on this so far. There are medical sites out there, or you could consult a medical professional--or just go with the anecdotal feedback you get here like the rest of us do.