Traveler’s Diarrhea – Health Problem While Traveling

Traveler’s diarrhea is one of the major woes of traveling, which is enough to spoil your entire vacation. It is estimated that every year nearly 20 to 50 percent international travelers develop diarrhea while traveling. Diarrhea might occur at any time during your vacation or business tour. Occasionally traveler’s diarrhea would require hospitalization. To prevent this unpleasant health hazard from spoiling your holiday, remember to take ample precautions while traveling, especially while eating and drinking.

High-risk destinations

Poor sanitary condition, sudden climatic changes, different social customs and poor hygiene are largely responsible for developing traveler’s diarrhea. The risk of developing traveler’s diarrhea is greater in the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The stomach infection, leading to diarrhea while traveling, is largely caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia Coli bacteria or ETEC bacteria.

It has been observed that though the ETEC bacteria causes diarrhea in travelers, people living in the high-risk areas for a long time develop immunity to these bacteria. Lack of immunity to ETEC bacteria makes foreign travelers vulnerable to diarrhea while traveling.

Preventing traveler’s diarrhea

Traveler’s diarrhea develops from taking contaminated foods and drinks. To prevent this health hazard while traveling, you should avoid having foods and beverages prepared in unhygienic conditions. Street foods are often a major source of bacterial attack. Do not eat foods that are either raw or undercooked.

Stay away from unpeeled fruits, unpasteurized milk, ice and tap water. Hot beverages and bottled drinks are usually safe for your health. Drinking water should be treated with chlorine or boiled to remove traces of bacteria. Use sterilized water for brushing the teeth and rinsing your mouth. To prevent contaminated water from entering your mouth, keep your mouth shut while taking a shower. Always have foods that are well cooked and served hot.

Traveler’s diarrhea treatment

Traveler’s diarrhea usually resolves naturally within a short period. Drink adequate oral rehydration solution to prevent dehydration and to correct the electrolyte imbalance in the body. Antibiotic medications might help to improve your health condition. Norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin drugs might be taken for about three to five days to cure the disease.