Travelers Diarrhea

The most common cause of travelers' diarrhea, usually a self-limited illness lasting several days, is infection

with noninvasive enterotoxigenic (ETEC) or enteroaggregative (EAEC) strains of Escherichia coli .

Campylobacter , Shigella , Salmonella , Aeromonas , viruses and parasites are less common.

(See individual links at travelers diseases.

Children tend to have more severe illness and are particularly susceptible to dehydration. Travelers to areas where hygiene is poor should avoid raw vegetables, fruit they have not peeled themselves, unpasteurized dairy products, cooked food not served steaming hot, and tap water, including ice.

Treatment - For mild diarrhea, Imodium (4-mg dose, then 2 mg orally after each loose stool to

a maximum of 16 mg/d for adults), relieves symptoms . It should not be used if fever

or bloody diarrhea are present, and some have constipation after use. Bloody diarrhea can be a sign of more sever infection and is a warning sign to get medical attention.

If diarrhea is moderate to severe, persistent or associated with fever or bloody stools, self-treatment

for 1-3 days with a broad spectrum antibiotic (quinolone or macrolide class prescribed by a doctor) is usually recommended.

Packets of oral rehydration salts mixed in potable water can help maintain electrolyte

balance, particularly in children .


No true vaccine exists (the product Dukoral has an effectiveness of 20% and is not a true travelers diarrhea vaccine) yet but antibiotics can be taken for self treatment abroad.


Travelers Diarrhea links




Mayo Clinic


Armchair world