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Traveler's diarrhea- Are you the one suffering from this illness?

Traveller’s diarrhoea is an infectious disease. It is defined as a passage of more than 3 unformed stool within 24 hours of time while travelling. The symptoms are abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, bloating. It is a temporary illness, can recover within 4 to 5 days.

Is it a common illness?-

Yes it is a common illness of travellers, depending upon the part of the world they visit. Adults both men and women are at risk of developing this illness. Children are more commonly afflicted. It is perhaps because of the food they consume while travelling

Causes of traveller’s diarrhoea-

Traveller’s diarrhoea is a gastrointestinal illness that happens to the person in travel, usually contracted by the ingestion of contaminated food,the bacteria enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is responsible for developing diarrhoea during travel. These bacteria enter the lining of the intestine through food or water, and release a toxin that causes diarrhoea.

Parasites- like glardia intestinalis entamoeba histolytica and cryptosporidium parvum can cause traveller’s diarrhoea. In these cases the person may be sick for longer time and need treatment.

Viruses- some viruses like norovirus and rotavirus also causes traveller’s diarrhoea, low immunity of the person is also responsible for the diarrhoea.

Food is the major cause-

Many people get traveller’s diarrhoea due to contaminated food. So food should be well cooked and consumed warm. Food kept at room temperature should not be taken. Food such as fruits and vegetable when eaten raw and without washing, undercookedmeats, half boiled vegetables, seafood, sausage’s, food left in the open, some dairy foods are the major cause of this illness.

Preventing traveller’s diarrhoea-

1.   Drink clean water, oralrehydrationsalts (ORS) should be taken to avoid dehydration caused by diarrhoea.

2.   Antibiotics to kill bacterial infection

3.     Anti-vomiting drugs.

4.    Probiotics are good for preventing this illness.

5.    Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugary drinks.

6.     Drink clear soups, light tea, sports drinks to replace lost fluids and minerals.

7.   Avoid street food.

8.    Frequent hand wash with liquid soap will decrease the chance of bacteria spread.


Drugs like Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) in liquid or tablet form can be taken orally, it is considered to be effective in preventing diarrhoea of travellers, and it should be taken in consultation with the doctor. The bottom line try to keep yourself hygiene ,eat  clean food and consult a doctor before travelling to avoid getting traveller’s diarrhoea.

Source: Provigil

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