It is estimated that 20-60% of travellers will be affected by traveller's diarrhoea. Usually occurring within the first week or two of a trip, it most commonly affects those travelling from developed countries to the developing, especially tropical and semi-tropical destinations.
Travellers' diarrhoea can be defined as "three or more loose stools in 24 hours with or without at least one symptom of cramps, nausea, fever or vomiting".
What Causes Diarrhoea?
The most common causes are bacterial (60-85% of cases), which are usually E-coli. Parasites account for about 10% and viruses for 5%, picked up from contaminated food and water in the new, foreign environment.
Most cases of diarrhoea clear up after a few days without treatment. In adults expect to feel better after 2-4 days, in children this is often longer between 5-7 days.
Diarrhoea can quickly lead to dehydration so you should drink plenty of fluids, this is very important for babies and small children. You may also take an oral rehydration solution if the diarrhoea is severe or you have health conditions that make you particularly vulnerable to the effects of dehydration.
Anti-diarrhoeal medicine is not usually necessary unless it is important that you shorten the length of time your diarrhoea lasts for (for example, if you need to take a long-haul flight).
When to See a Doctor
In adults, diarrhoea that lasts more than a few weeks may be a sign of a more serious condition. If your baby or child has had six or more episodes of diarrhoea in the last 24 hours, you should take them to see a doctor.
Pyramid provide a full range of Hygiene and Water Treatment products designed to help this common preventable illness while travelling.
• Wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet and before eating or preparing food, then apply Pyramid Hysan Hand Gel to give 4 hours of protection against bacteria, viruses and parasites.
• Clean the toilet, including the handle and the seat with disinfectant after each use particularly if a member of your party is affected by diarrhoea. Pyramid Hysan Spray will kill 99.99% of bacteria in 30 seconds and will remain effective for 4 hours.
• Avoid sharing towels, flannels, cutlery or utensils with other travellers.
• Minimise contact if possible with other travellers for 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea.
• If you are in any doubt of the source or cleanliness of water that is available to drink, treat it first with Pyramid Biox Aqua Tablets or Droplets.
Every effort is taken to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate and informative. It is not intended to replace a consultation with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner.