What is Traveller’s Diarrhoea?
Diarrhoea is a common health condition suffered by tourists when travelling to different areas. Diarrhea is a stomach and intestinal infection symptoms which include watery or loose stools, stomach cramps and pains, fever, nausea and vomiting. Traveller’s diarrhoea is a widespread condition which affects between 20% to 50% of travellers and this percentage is even higher in developing countries.
Causes of Traveller’s Diarrhoea
Our human body becomes accustomed to and builds up a tolerance to bacteria in the area where we live but when going travelling new bacteria can be encountered this new bacteria may not be any worse than what we have been previously exposed to but it can cause problems as we are not accustomed to then.
Most cases of Traveller’s Diarrhoea are caused by bacteria whereas others are caused by parasites or viruses the most common bacteria are strains of E. coli and Salmonella, parasites such as Giardia, and viruses such as Norovirus. All these organisms are spread through eating or drinking contaminated food or water or contact between the mouth and contaminated hands or cups, plates and utensils.
How to prevent Traveller’s Diarrhoea
This depends upon taking effective measures to avoid the risk of infection including:-
Do not drink tap water always drink bottled water if this is not always possible ensure water purification by boiling water and allowing it to cool. Avoid drinks containing ice cubes made from tap water, or iced or frozen desserts in areas where electrical power outages may be an issue. Avoid raw fruit or vegetables washed in tap water.
Ensure personal hygiene including hand washing prior to eating and using clean crockery and utensils. Always wash hands after using the toilet and carry alcohol rub and wipes for emergencies.
It is advisable to have Standby Treatment for people travelling who:
Have existing illnesses that could be made worse if they are to suffer from dehydration or diarrhoea.
Who are travelling to remote places where help may not be readily available.
Repeated experience of Diarrhoea when traveling to foreign countries
Currently have IBS or other pre-existing bowel conditions.
The Difference between Azithromycin and Ciprofloxacin
Azithromycin is an antibiotic used in the treatment of a number of bacterial infections including Traveller’s diarrhea which is a stomach and intestinal infection. People travelling to South East or South Asian are as well to have the first choice medication of Azithromycin available due to the resistance to quionolone in those areas. For most other foreign destinations, the antibiotic medication of Ciprofloxacin will be an effective treatment for Traveller’s Diarrhoea.