Food and Water Borne Diseases
faulty plumbing, the use of human excrement as fertilizer
and unclean food handling food cause water borne diseases.
Food and water precautions are the traveller's first line
of defense against all food and water borne illness.
Montezuma's revenge, Delhi belly, Trotsky trots...The name
changes around the world; but the symptoms are the same: diarrhoea
with cramps, nausea and a general feeling of illness. Traveller's
diarrhoea is usually caused by germs (bacteria, parasites
or viruses) which have contaminated your food, water or fingers.
Even a change in the environment can cause mild diarrhoea.
diarrhoea is the most common sickness in travellers. Luckily,
the illness is usually mild and clears up on its own within
a few days. The most important treatment is replacing your
body's lost fluids and electrolytes(salt, potassium and sugar).
1. Replace lost fluids and electrolytes (salt, potassium,
clear fluids (at least 3 litres/day for adults). Choose fruit
juices rich in potassium (e.g. orange, apple). Add 1/4 teaspoon
of salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Dilute with boiled or carbonated
water if desired. Commercial packets of rehydration salts
(e.g. Orsaline) can be used for infants, children or adults.
solid foods slowly once symptoms subside. Avoid milk for 1-2
weeks. Breastfed infants should continue to breastfeed.
prescribed by your doctor
If diarrhoea is severe, antibiotic treatment is needed. Seek
medical advice or begin self-treatment.
of severe diarrhoea
* persistent diarrhoea (longer than 2-3 days)
* more than 6 stools/day
* fever and shaking chills
* blood, mucus or pus in the stools
* small amount of strong smelling, dark yellow urine
* absence of tears or saliva
* dry mouth and skin
* fatigue and dizziness
* sunken eyes
* sunken fontanel (soft spot on the head) in infants
The Internet, Travellers Health, Capital Health Authority