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Travelers' diarrhea

Stomach and intestinal infection / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Travelers' diarrhea (TD) is a stomach and intestinal infection. TD is defined as the passage of unformed stool (one or more by some definitions, three or more by others) while traveling.[2][3] It may be accompanied by abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, headache and bloating.[3] Occasionally bloody diarrhea may occur.[5] Most travelers recover within three to four days with little or no treatment.[3] About 12% of people may have symptoms for a week.[3]

Quick facts: Travelers' diarrhea, Other names, Specialty, ...
Travelers' diarrhea
Other namesTravellers' diarrhoea, tourist diarrhea,[1] traveler's dysentery[1]
The bacterium E. coli, the most common cause of Travelers' diarrhea
SpecialtyInfectious diseases Edit this on Wikidata
SymptomsUnformed stool while traveling, fever, abdominal cramps, headache[2][3]
DurationTypically < 5 days[3]
CausesOften bacterial[3]
Risk factorsTravel in the developing world
Diagnostic methodBased on symptoms and travel history
PreventionEating only properly prepared food, drinking bottled water, frequent hand washing[4]
TreatmentOral rehydration therapy, antibiotics, loperamide[3][4]
Frequency~35% of travelers to the developing world[3]

Bacteria are responsible for more than half of cases,[3] typically via foodborne illness and waterborne diseases. The bacteria enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are typically the most common except in Southeast Asia, where Campylobacter is more prominent.[2][3] About 10 to 20 percent of cases are due to norovirus.[3] Protozoa such as Giardia may cause longer term disease.[3] The risk is greatest in the first two weeks of travel and among young adults.[2] People affected are more often from the developed world.[2]

Recommendations for prevention include eating only properly cleaned and cooked food, drinking bottled water, and frequent hand washing.[4] The oral cholera vaccine, while effective for cholera, is of questionable use for travelers' diarrhea.[6] Preventive antibiotics are generally discouraged.[3] Primary treatment includes rehydration and replacing lost salts (oral rehydration therapy).[3][4] Antibiotics are recommended for significant or persistent symptoms, and can be taken with loperamide to decrease diarrhea.[3] Hospitalization is required in less than 3 percent of cases.[2]

Estimates of the percentage of people affected range from 20 to 50 percent among travelers to the developing world.[3] TD is particularly common among people traveling to Asia (except for Japan and Singapore), the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Central and South America.[4][7] The risk is moderate in Southern Europe, Russia, and China.[8] TD has been linked to later irritable bowel syndrome and Guillain–Barré syndrome.[2][3] It has colloquially been known by a number of names, including "Montezuma's revenge," the "Nile runs" and "Delhi belly".[9]

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