Facts on Traveler's Diarrhea
Diarrhea occurs in a significant number of people who travel to foreign countries. Travelers to developing countries of the world become ill from eating or drinking food or water contaminated by infected human bowel waste.
Traveler's diarrhea can be defined as three or more unformed stools in a 24-hour period.
Who is at risk for traveler's diarrhea?
Traveler's Diarrhea Causes
A person can become infected by eating or drinking food or water that has come in contact with feces. Food and water become contaminated when they are handled by people with fecal content on their hands - not in direct contact with feces. Restaurants are common sites for exposure to this type of food poisoning. Food from street vendors is even more risky. Eating in a private home is the safest food source.
High-risk food and drink
Certain items are considered high risk for transmission and include the following:
Safe products to eat and drink
Specific bacterial causes of traveler's diarrhea
A majority of traveler's diarrhea is caused by bacteria. The remaining cases are caused by viruses and protozoa. The most common organism causing traveler's diarrhea is Escherichia coli accounting for most of cases in some regions.
Other bacterial causes of traveler's diarrhea
Protozoa causing traveler's diarrhea
Viral causes of traveler's diarrhea
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/4/2016
Anthony L Buscaglia, DO
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Escherichia coli is one of the most frequent causes of many common bacterial infections, including cholecystitis, bacteremia, cholangitis, urinary tract infection (UTI), and traveler's diarrhea, and other clinical infections such as neonatal meningitis and pneumonia.