These notes are offered as guidance only and do not constitute a medical opinion. If you believe you are ill you should always consult an appropriate health professional at an appropriate time.
With a little sensible care your holiday in the Algarve should be no more at risk than life in the UK. The Algarve has sound levels of food hygiene which are enforced as sporadically as in the UK. As with all holiday resorts your greatest risk is on the beach.
This is not a general problem in the Algarve. In any country there may be people who have brought the problem from elsewhere and are not recieving treatment.
This is an endemic problem in the Algarve and you should be aware of how it may be caught. Ticks are tiny creatures, spiderlike in appearance who feed on blood.They bite a host and bury their head in the wound to suck blood. As they do their bodies become swollen like a red/grey pea. They are very common on all dogs.
The ticks may carry a tiny organism that can infect you producing tick fever. An infected bite will often refuse to heal and may become black.
The disease causes high tempretures and fever, septic kidneys and a rash on the palms of the hands. It is easily cured with anti biotics but may leave the victim debilitated for a prolonged period. Avoid contact with stray dogs and particularly do not lie where they have been in the sand.
Tap water is generally safe but undrinkable due to the high chlorine and calcium content. Bottled water is cheap, palatable, but not sterile. At all costs avoid swimming near the mouth of any river. To do so is to risk not only enteritus but hepatitus.
The pain and squits of enteritus can be taken away with a drug called lomotil. Taken with care. The great risk from enteritus, especially with children, is from dehydration. As soon as a child starts diarhhea or sickness anti dehydration therapy should be started.
Aim to get into the child one and a half times the apparent water loss. Small sips or even a drop at a time is better than large drinks.Give boiled water not juices and obtain dioralite as soon as possible. If the condition continues consult a doctor.
By now every one is aware that a sun tan risks skin cancer not to mention wrinkles.
Sand burns can also be a problem especially with small children. Sand which is above the tide line may get very hot. Kids should have jelly shoes.
Wasps and snakes are not usually a problem here. In the heat of August the Spider fish (Peche Arainha) comes into the beach to spawn. Its spines carry a painfull if harmless sting. Lifegaurds will warn you if they are about.,Wear jelly shoes.