Egypt: Travel Tips - Emergencies


Security & Crime

In case of problems, its worth knowing the distinctions between types of police. Tourist Police wear green armbands and stand guard at major tourist sites and hotels. Traffic Police wear black and white in winter and white in summer and can be found on most major street corners. The Central Security policemen wear black and guard embassies, hotels, and public buildings.

Health & Medical Services

Called Montezumas Revenge in Mexico, Pharaohs Revenge in Egypt, and a host of other names in other countries, a stomach upset can spoil any holiday. No matter what your precautions, a change in water and diet can result in diarrhea and nausea. It is advisable to stay away from raw fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of liquids.

Amebic dysentery, caused by a microscopic single-celled animal, an amoebae, is a much more serious matter. The amoebae are ingested with unclean food or drink. Symptoms are similar to gippy tummy but the condition persists and can cause serious damage. With proper treatment recovery is quick. Drink bottled water, which is inexpensive and readily available.

It is extremely unlikely that any tourist will develop schistosomiasis (bilharzia). Bilharzia is caused by blood flukes or flat worms which enter the body of persons wading or swimming in still or slow-moving water. Bilharzia is curable as long as reinfection does not occur. Symptoms include inflammation, cough, late-afternoon fever, skin eruptions, swelling and tenderness of the liver; and blood in stools and urine in the more acute stage of the disease.

Malaria is not a problem in Egypt, although it is on the increase throughout the world. Rabies, however, is endemic. Stay away from stray dogs around monuments. Rabies can be contracted not only from a bite, but from saliva of the sick animal contacting an open wound. It is fatal if not treated in time.

All hotels have references for medical services and some have a doctor on call 24 hours a day. All Egyptian doctors speak good English. Embassies can also be consulted. The red crescent is the symbol of medical services in Egypt equivalent to the red cross seen in many countries. It designates hospitals, ambulances, and other medical services.


There are good hospitals in Cairo and Alexandria. However, they operate on a cash basis and patients cannot use foreign medical insurance plans. Many hospitals do accept credit cards. Some hospitals are:
* The Egyptian telephone structure is expanding and some phone numbers have been changed. Please contact the Information (140) for the updated numbers.

Anglo-American Hospital Zohoreya, next to the Cairo Tower, Zamalek. Tel: 2341-8630

As Salam International Hospital, Corniche el Nil, Maadi. Tel: 2363-8050, 2363-4196, 2363-8424, 2363-8764

Arab Contractors Hospital Autostrade, Nasr City. Tel: 2282-8907

Italian Hospital, Abbassia. Tel: 2282-1433

Nile Badrawi Hospital, Corniche el Nil, Maadi. Tel: 23638688, 2363-8167/8.

Al Salam Hospital, 3 Syria, Mohandeseen. Tel: 3346-7062/3.


Pharmacies are usually open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and are staffed by competent professional. Both locally made and imported medication is subsidized by the government and is inexpensive. Some medication requiring prescriptions abroad is sold over the counter in Egypt.

In Cairo, each neighberhood should have a 24 -hour pharmacy. Below are a few of the 24-hour pharmacies in Cairo:
* The Egyptian telephone structure is expanding and some phone numbers have been changed. Please contact the Information (140) for the updated numbers.

Attaba: Attaba Pharmacy, 17 Midan Attaba. Tel: 2291-0831

Central Cairo: Isaaf Pharmacy, 3 26th July. Tel: 2274-3369; Seif Pharmacy, Qasr el Aini. Tel: 2354-2678.

Maadi: As Salam International Hospital, Maadi Corniche. Tel: 2284-2188; Esam Pharmacy, 101 Road 9. Tel: 2350-4126; Mishriki Pharmacy, 81 Road 153. Tel:2350-3333.

Zamalek: Zamalek Pharmacy, 3 Shagaret el Dorr, Zamalek. Tel: 2340-2406.

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Last Updated: August 8th, 2011