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Altitude illness victim's parents say goodbye (2)

By Shi Yingying (China Daily)

15:36, October 24, 2012

The 30-year-old Jin quit her job two years ago to travel across the country. Her death shocked her friends on the tour and raised questions about tourism safety.

Wu Yanyan, 24, a real estate consultant from Shanghai who spent the recent National Day holiday in Tibet, said travelers should remember to respect nature and not set out to "conquer it".

"Pushing the limit doesn't necessarily make you into a hero," she said. "In Jin's case, she should have got some rest and gone for treatment at a nearby hospital."

Doctors and professionals said travelers should make sure to prepare themselves adequately before they travel to Tibet.

"Older people should undergo a medical examination before they go there," said Dechen, a doctor who specializes in treating the sickness. "People with diabetes mellitus and heart disease shouldn't go. As for young people, they should get plenty of rest before setting out and shouldn't do anything strenuous during the first couple of days they are there."

A large percentage of the patients who go to Lhasa People's Hospital are tourists suffering from altitude sickness, according to Dechen.

"People react differently to altitude sickness. Their symptoms could be as mild as dizziness or headaches. But once you're coughing and running a fever, it's essential that you undergo an examination at a nearby hospital as soon as possible. The sickness can lead to the worst-case scenario within a night."

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