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

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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