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Symptoms and Signs of Traveler's Diarrhea

Doctor's Notes on Traveler's Diarrhea

Traveler’s diarrhea is a type of food poisoning that can often occur when people travel to foreign countries. Eating or drinking contaminated food or water, particularly in developing countries, can result in traveler’s diarrhea, which can be defined as three or more unformed stools in a 24-hour period. Food and water may become contaminated when handled by people with fecal content on their hands. High-risk areas for developing traveler’s diarrhea include Mexico, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Symptoms of traveler's diarrhea often start two to three days into a trip or even after a person returns home and may include loose or watery stools, abdominal cramping, bloating, nausea, urgency to have a bowel movement, fever, vomiting, headache, painful bowel movements, or bloody stools.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.