Traveler’s diarrhea is typically brought about by contaminated food and water. The condition is brought about by pathogens present in food and water. In most cases, bacteria are the usual culprits along with parasites and viruses.
Prevention is the ideal defense against traveler’s diarrhea. It is vital to carefully observe proper food and hygienic practices.
What are the signs?
The indications of traveler’s diarrhea generally manifest several days after, but some cases can take 2 weeks. The symptoms tend to vary depending on the root cause.
Some of the usual signs include:
- Abdominal pain
- Sudden, explosive and watery diarrhea
- Nausea and vomiting
In severe cases, the individual might have fever and blood-streaked stool. If these symptoms are present or they last longer than 48-72 hours, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Most cases last from 1-5 days. In some cases, the symptoms can linger for up to a month after the initial infection.
Management of traveler’s diarrhea
Some of the commonly used treatment options for traveler’s diarrhea include the following:
- Replacement of fluids – the initial line of defense is hydration. For mild cases, any safe fluids can be used such as broth, boiled water or prepackaged fruit juices. Oral rehydration solutions are ideal if dehydration is severe.
- Antidiarrheal agents – these products should not be used if the root of the symptoms is dysentery or if the stool is streaked with blood. An antidiarrheal agent must only be used if an antibiotic has been prescribed. Make sure that the body is properly hydrated while these drugs are used.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on traveler’s diarrhea is for learning purposes only. Learn how it is managed by taking a standard first aid course with Toronto First Aid.