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Do all that you can to avoid contracting Traveler's diarrhea.  It is a debilitating illness that can make you and being on vacation a miserable experience.

 

 

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Travel Advice -  traveler’s diarrhea is the most common illness among tourists worldwide.

The risk of contracting traveler’s diarrhea often is correlated with  economic development's influence on the level of sanitation in a country. Developing countries can be high-risk destinations. Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and portions of  South East Asia are areas where sanitation problems are relatively common. If you plan to travel in a country known for having either poor sanitation or an impure water supply, be sure to be choosy about  what you eat and drink.

 

Traveler’s diarrhea seems to last an eternity but a normal occurrence passes (pardon the pun) in several days.  The onset of traveler’s diarrhea frequently occurs within the first week of travel: it may occur at any time while traveling, or after returning home. If it strikes you, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking bottled water, boiled or treated water, or weak tea.  If diarrhea continues for more than a day, you may need oral rehydration.

As we age, our stomach is less able to deal with troublesome bacteria and we become more likely to contract illness of the digestive tract. The best advice we can give you is to try to avoid contact with the sources of viruses, bacteria and parasites, which are the common causes of diarrhea.

Eat only cooked meats, fruits, and vegetables. Violating this rule is a sure path to traveler’s diarrhea.

  • To be safe, avoid unpasteurized milk and related products. Some health practitioners claim that eating, uncooked fruits, and vegetables, which you, personally, have peeled, will not provoke stomach discomfort.
  • If you have any reservation about food quality or the hygiene of those preparing or serving the food, pass it up

Drinking contaminated water or cooling your drink with ice made from contaminated water are common causes of diarrhea.

  • If you have any doubts about local sanitation, drink only bottled water, with safety sealed lids, or canned drinks. Always clean the top of the bottle or can, as the containers may have been contaminated during handling (shipping, shelving, stacking).
  • Use a tissue or cloth for cleaning the container’s lid, but do not wash the container off with local water.

Whether at home or abroad, eat in establishments that appear clean.

  • Avoid restaurants whose personnel appear to exhibit questionable hygiene. Eating at street stands is always a risk.
  • If you must succumb to the lure of street food, try to limit this risk to ordering at peak eating times where food moves quickly off the grill: anytime else, the food may culture germs due to its sitting on the grill for extended periods of time.

Remember, also, that you may contract the germs leading to a case of traveler’s diarrhea from shaking hands with someone who has washed with local water, had contact with contaminated food, or contact with fecal matter - as disgusting as this sounds,  medical research tells us that over 50 percent of the people we know qualify for this list.

  • Wash your hand frequently and keep them away from your mouth and nose after shaking hands or touching door knobs or doors.  Use a hand sanitizer when you are unable to wash with soap and hot water.

Common diarrhea may result from overeating or consuming rich foods that are, ordinarily, not on your diet. Always exercise good judgment when considering ordering a high calorie meal or dessert. After all, it may decide to talk back to you later.

Our final recommendation is to carry an anti-diarrhea medication, such as Kaopectate, when you travel to international destinations.

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