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Where Are You Most Likely to Fall Victim to Traveller’s Diarrhoea?

Posted Tuesday 27 March 2018 15:33 by in Travellers Diarrhoea by Tim Deakin

As one of the most common conditions to befall travellers, it’s important to know where you should take the most care to avoid traveller’s diarrhoea

As spring gets underway and we start looking forward to summer, many of us will be taking the time to seek out the perfect summer getaway. What with booking hotels, flights and activities, you probably won’t spend too much time considering health factors like traveller’s diarrhoea — but these are the factors which can seriously impact on your impending trip.

Traveller’s diarrhoea is one of the most common infections seen in holidaymakers and can put a real dampener on your summer trip abroad. Knowing how to spot the signs of the condition and treat it effectively is hugely important, but it’s also important to take it into consideration from the point of choosing a destination.

Where are you most likely to contract traveller’s diarrhoea?

Although the extent and severity of traveller’s diarrhoea is largely dependent on the season of travel and your own actions when abroad, heading to certain destinations can make you far more likely to develop the condition.

Low risk destinations include the USA, Canada and New Zealand, as well as most countries in Northern and Western Europe. These countries usually practice high food hygiene standards, which can significantly limit the risk of spreading the infection.

Intermediate-risk destinations include many Eastern European countries, certain Caribbean islands and South Africa. High-risk areas for contracting traveller’s diarrhoea include countries in:

- South and South East Asia

- Africa

- The Middle East

- Mexico

- Central and South America

In India, common cases of traveller’s diarrhoea are informally referred to as ‘Delhi Belly’.

How is the condition contracted?

Traveller’s diarrhoea is most commonly contracted through the consumption of faecally contaminated food and water, usually as the result of an infected person handling food after using the toilet without thoroughly washing their hands.

These actions encourage the spread of bacteria like E.Coli and Salmonella, which are common causes of the condition. These can also be spread through the use of contaminated cups and plates. Traveller’s diarrhoea is also more common in younger travellers.

What are the warning signs of traveller’s diarrhoea?

Whether you travel to an intermediate or high-risk area, you need to know the warning signs to look out for. The nature of the condition means that the initial symptoms are usually quite sudden, so it’s important to pay attention to your bathroom habits while you are away.

The condition is defined by the passing of three or more loose/watery bowel movements within a 24-hour period. It usually occurs within the first week of travel, so be extra vigilant during this time, but remember that it is possible to contract the infection more than once in a single holiday.

Other symptoms to watch out for include bloating, vomiting, fever and abdominal cramps.

How can you avoid it?

To prevent an onset of traveller’s diarrhoea, try to avoid food and drink items such as undercooked or raw meat, raw fruit and vegetables, unpasteurised milk and tap water. In the UK we drink tap water without thinking, but in higher risk areas the water may be contaminated. It is best to either boil tap water before using, or to stick to sealed bottled water.

In case you do contract traveller’s diarrhoea while away, you should be prepared with effective antibiotic treatment to speed up your recovery. Azithromycin is the recommended, highly rated treatment for bacterial traveller’s diarrhoea, and it is available from Express Pharmacy.

For further information about our services, call our team today on 0208 123 07 03 or leave a query on our discreet Live Chat.


stella rostron on Saturday 28 July 2018 16:43

I am going to the Dominican republic and I am worried travellers diarrhoea will spoil my holiday, I have had it 3 or 4 times in the past while on hoilday. I am also worried that anti biotics may reduce my gut flora making the problem worse. I have asked my GP for stand by anti biotics and if she refuses I am considering buying them before I go . Am I being over anxious.

Tags: Azithromycin Travel Health Traveller's Diarrhoea

What Does the Winter Olympics Teach Us About Traveller’s Diarrhoea?

Posted Monday 12 March 2018 11:11 by in Travellers Diarrhoea by Tim Deakin

With significant numbers of people suffering prior to the Winter Olympics, it’s vital you know how to avoid this unpleasant and potentially dangerous problem.

If you were as gripped by the recent Winter Olympics as we were then you’ll now know your skeleton from your luge and your half pipe from your curling. The Games were held in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province in South Korea, and almost 3,000 athletes from 92 nations participated in more than 100 events. However, it wasn’t all fun and games when it came to the health of those involved.

Ahead of the events, a serious case of traveller’s diarrhoea led to dozens of members of the organization being quarantined, and the South Korean military being deployed.

In total, around 1,200 members of the security staff were quarantined and tested for norovirus. The Korea Centre for Disease Control (KCDC) stated that it suspected food and drink were to blame for the infection.

Here we have an example of just how unpleasant traveller’s diarrhoea can be. Traveller’s diarrhoea is a harmful, potentially dangerous condition which requires constant care and vigilance if it is going to be avoided and treated. So if you’re planning to go abroad this spring, here is the information you need in order to stay safe and avoid developing traveller’s diarrhoea.

What do you need to know about traveller’s diarrhoea?

Most cases of traveller’s diarrhoea occur within the first week of your travels, and thankfully the majority of cases are mild and resolve themselves within 3 to 5 days. However, sometimes additional symptoms occur which make traveller’s diarrhoea more serious, meaning treatment will be required.

Traveller’s diarrhoea can be defined as passing three or more loose bowel movements within a 24 hour period. It can be accompanied by any of the following symptoms: fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or cramps and the urgent need to pass a bowel movement.

The condition can be caused by a variety of different sources, such as bacteria like E.coli, parasites like Giardia or viruses like norovirus. All of these organisms are spread through consuming contaminated food and water, or through contact between the mouth and contaminated crockery, cutlery or hands.

Preventing the onset of traveller’s diarrhoea is largely dependent on practicing good hand hygiene and effective food and water precautions. You should wash your hands thoroughly before eating or handling food, and after using the toilet. You should also avoid ice in drinks, food that has been kept warm for an extended period of time, raw food, dairy products, unbottled water and food from street vendors. Instead, opt for consuming packaged and sealed food, sterile (pre-boiled) and sealed water from a bottle, canned food and freshly cooked food which is piping hot.

If you do contract traveller’s diarrhoea, rest and hydration are key to treating it effectively. This is particularly true for young children. Clear fluids such as sterile water, diluted fruit juices or oral rehydration solutions should be consumed regularly.

There is also effective medication available for traveller’s diarrhoea, such as Azithromycin. This is a kind of antibiotic used to treat cases of bacterial traveller’s diarrhoea, specifically for travellers who have journeyed to South Asia or South East Asia, such as India or Thailand respectively. One tablet, taken daily for a three day period, can significantly help to treat a case of traveller’s diarrhoea quickly, helping the sufferer to become well again in as little time as possible.

Azithromycin is available from Express Pharmacy.

For more guidance, support and treatment regarding a wide variety of common health concerns, contact Express Pharmacy today. Call us on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet online live chat service.

Tags: Azithromycin General Health Travel Health Traveller's Diarrhoea

Travellers’ Diarrhoea: How to Deal With an Unwanted Holiday Companion

Posted Wednesday 25 January 2017 13:53 by in Travellers Diarrhoea by Tim Deakin

traveller's diarrhoeaWhether you are travelling to an exotic destination or holidaying on the continent, going overseas is an exciting time for all the family. Not to mention a chance to create lots of wonderful memories that you can look back on for years to come. Unfortunately, travelling abroad isn’t all fun and games, and for many people that trip to somewhere new can come with the odd health problem.

As the name suggests, travellers’ diarrhoea is one condition that is common among tourists, and it is particularly rife when visiting developing countries like Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. In fact, up to 50% of travellers spending two weeks or more in these countries are affected by the condition. As with any travel-related health issue, it is important to understand the nature of the problem, how to prevent it and the treatments to take if illness does strike. Here we offer an essential guide to travellers’ diarrhoea so you can be prepared for your upcoming trip.

What is travellers’ diarrhoea?

Travellers’ diarrhoea is the frequent passing of watery or loose stools. The condition is commonly caused by the presence of the bacteria E.coli as a result of the unsanitary handling of food and drink. E.coli is easily transmitted and is extremely contagious if an individual handling food has failed to wash their hands after using the bathroom. The infection mainly affects the stomach and intestines, leaving sufferers frequently passing loose stools and often experiencing symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, bloating, discomfort, weakness, cramps, painful gas and appetite loss.

With this particular condition it is important to make sure that travellers’ diarrhoea is what you have. Diarrhoea can be a symptom of numerous travel-related illnesses – including malaria – so seeking medical assistance is important if you find that the problem persists for more than 24 hours. You should also look out for the presence of blood in your stools, as this can be an indication of something more serious.

How to prevent travellers’ diarrhoea

Taking extra care with food and drink is a vital part of preventing travellers’ diarrhoea. Maintaining a good level of personal hygiene will help to limit exposure to E.coli, so care should be taken when cleaning utensils, plates and cups. You should also take the time to wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after going to the toilet. When visiting developing countries, hand washing facilities may not be as readily available as they are at home, so make sure to keep alcohol rub and wipes to hand at all times.

Avoiding certain food and drink items can also minimise the risk of contracting travellers’ diarrhoea. It is best to stay clear of tap water (including ice in drinks), raw or uncooked foods, street food and dairy products.

Seeking treatment for travellers’ diarrhoea

Staying hydrated is an important step in treating travellers’ diarrhoea, particularly if the individual affected is a young child. Be sure that any fluids consumed are safe, and utilise these in conjunction with oral rehydration salts to re-establish the fluids lost.

Being prepared with suitable medication for the treatment of travellers’ diarrhoea is also vital to the successful management of symptoms. Stock up on medication to deal with any potential illnesses, including travellers’ diarrhoea, before you travel as the language barrier and location may make it difficult or even impossible for you to get the treatment you need whilst you are away. Here at Express Pharmacy we stock Ciprofloxacin and Azithromycin, both effective medications for the treatment of travellers’ diarrhoea.

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