• Travellers’ Diarrhoea

    Travellers’ Diarrhoea

    Traveller's DiarrhoeaTravellers’ Diarrhoea (TD) can strike when you least expect it. It can be caused by a variety of infectious agents. The most common cause is anthropogenic¬† Escherichia Coli (ETEC) – an intestinal infection able to produce enterrotoxins. Travellers become infected with ETEC through ingestion of contaminated food and water. In theory persons who are careful with their food and water intake should be able to avoid the illness, however, in practice TD remains common even in persons who are careful.

    High Risk Areas

    Travel destination is the most significant risk factor Travellers’ Diarrhoea. High risk areas for TD include Central and South America, Africa, The Middle East and most of Asia.

    Persons With Increased Susceptibility to Traveller’s Diarrhoea

    Immunocompromised Travellers, Persons with lower gastric acidity, younger age and adventurous travel also increase the risk of acquiring TD, persons staying at luxury resorts or on cruise ships are also at risk of acquiring TD.

    Traveller’s Diarrhoea Characteristics

    Watery stool which may be associated with abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, weakness, sometimes a low grade fever.

    Preventing¬†Traveller’s Diarrhoea

    (1) Avoid unsafe food and drinks, food from street vendors is particularly risky and should be avoided. (2) Unsafe food and beverages include salads, unpeeled fruits, raw or poorly cooked meats and seafood, unpasteurised diary products and tap water. (3) Boil, cook or peal food and water. (4) Ask your travel medicine practitioner about various options available to you which could reduce the risk of TD. Your practitioner will assist you with a thorough risk assessment depending on your health status and travel destination.

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