Diarrhoea during travel | Allianz Global Assistance

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What is traveller’s diarrhoea?

This type of sickness very common in most holiday destination countries. The causes of diarrhea can come from different forms: bacteria (such as E.Coli, Salmonella); viruses (rotavirus, and enterovirus); or parasites (amoeba).

These cause of diarrhea comes from a variety of sources which include:

  • foods and drinks : all forms of liquid such as opened bottled water or juice, street ice-cream, or ice given together with the softdrinks to make it cold. Foods in forms of fresh or raw fruits and vegetables, street fruits, dairy or milk products that has not properly delivered through cold storage or that are not pasteurized; and uncooked meat products, and eggs

  • lifestyle & hygiene: not washing the hands regularly during the trip

The risks of getting infected with this illness is high in countries like the entire African continent, Asia, Central & South America, and the Mediterranean. Do a research about the countries you wish to visit especially on the food access and other related things you need to know to avoid diarrhea.

What are the signs of diarrhea and how do you treat it?

Generally, diarrhea happens after 3-7 days during the trip and most of them are minor sicknesses.

How to know if you have a diarrhea?

You will know if you have a diarrhea ff you having more than 3 liquified stools within half a day, which sometimes comes together with mucus and blood; and with sensations of discomfort in the abdomen area (accompanied by nausea). This sickness can lead to fever, chilling, body & joint pains, fatigue and loose of craving to eat. If this symptoms continue during the trip for more than 24 hours, go to the doctor immediately, especially if the patient has pre-existing cardio-vascular condition, or diabetes.

Doctors will recommend home treatment that will include rehydration through letting the patient drink sterilized water or Gatorade. However on rare circumstances where major dehydration, and vomiting happens, the patient may need to be hospitalized to do some stool tests and give a more specialized care.

How to prevent traveller’s diarrhea?

To prevent your self from getting diarrhea during your trip, here are a few recommendations to lessen the risk of getting contaminated:

  • regularly wash your hands with soap before meals, after using the comfort rooms or toilets, and before sleeping at night,

  • always check what you are going to eat or drink. Make sure that drinks are coming from capped bottles and avoid taking ice.

  • focus on eating fully-cooked foods, avoid street fruits and raw vegetables and meats

  • make sure that before your eat dairy products, read labels that clearly indicate where they were manufactured and that have not experienced an interruption in the cold chain

If you have any problem while traveling, don’t wait until you get home to consult a doctor. The regulating doctor of your assistance company is available to discuss any questions or doubts you may have about your health. He/she can provide useful advice, contact your family doctor and organize a consultation wherever you are.

Before you depart for your next trip, make sure you get protected with an affordable and first class international travel insurance such as Allianz Global Assistance. If you are not sure which one to choose, read travel insurance buying guide.

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