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Define Altitude Sickness

altitude sickness. A medical syndrome that afflicts those traveling at high elevations, general higher than 8,000 feet above sea level. Symptoms vary widely and can include lightheadedness, headaches, gastrointestinal distress, swelling of limbs and face, and shortness of breath. The best treatment is to descend to lower altitude, although oxygen can alleviate some symptoms. Altitude sickness can affect travellers in Tibet and Machu Picchu in Peru. Also called acute mountain sickness (AMS).

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