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Travellers Diarrhoea

Travellers Diarrhoea is spread through unsafe food and water and is a concern to all travellers

The disease is a self-limiting one, lasting from two to six days and considered to be caused when the normal environment of the bowel is upset with exposure to new foods, diet and organisms. It is particularly common in developing countries where sanitation is poor.


How is Travellers Diarrhoea spread?

Travellers Diarrhoea is caused by micro-organisms which damage the gut. The body’s gastrointestinal tract can be overwhelmed by contaminated food and water. Food that has been handled with unclean hands can cause the disease.


What are the symptoms of Travellers Diarrhoea?

Travellers Diarrhoea is characterised by at least three loose bowel motions within eight hours as well as one or a combination of:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Mild fever
  • Stool urgency



Who is at risk?

Travellers (particularly in developing countries where sanitation is poor), who consume unsafe food and water.


How to avoid Travellers Diarrhoea

Be sensible with your food and water choices. Drink and brush your teeth with sterilised water, be aware of ice in your drinks… if you don’t know where it has come from, avoid it. Raw foods, reheated or poorly cooked food and ice creams can all be potential spreads.

Keep your diet familiar for the first few days then gradually introduce local foods. Go with local dishes that are well prepared and have a high turnover in a restaurant. Take hand sanitiser everywhere with you.

We like to say “Cook it, peel it, boil it or avoid it”.


Further information about Travellers Diarrhoea

Please note that the recommendations given are general guidelines as to what may be required for a trip to these countries. However, they really do depend on many factors of your travel itinerary and medical history. All travellers are strongly advised to make an appointment to see a WORLDWISE Travel Doctor for up to date advice (including a vaccination plan and anti-malaria recommendations) tailored specifically to your upcoming trip.

Remember, our Travel Health Specialists are travellers too and have probably been to the region that you are going to. They appreciate the importance of enjoying a problem-free trip and of staying healthy abroad.

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Book your appointment to see one of our specialised travel doctors.
Returning home unwell
Book your appointment to see one of our specialised travel doctors.

Countries at risk of Travellers Diarrhoea

Book your Travel Health Appointment