Travelers' diarrhea is a disease of tourists
Among the different types of gastrointestinal disorders, so-called traveler's diarrhea attracts attention. Its main difference is that it develops in people traveling outside the country of residence. This disease requires immediate treatment. Travelers' diarrhea differs a lot from diarrhea caused by, say, food poisoning.
What is traveler's diarrhea, what are the causes of this disease, why are tourists, people traveling to another region, subject to it? Let's find out the main symptoms of the disease, as well as how to treat it.
What is travelers' diarrhea?
In general, diarrhea (diarrhea) is an increase in stool in a person more than three times a day. The stools are watery, abundant and accompanied by pain, urgent urge to defecate. It is a typical symptom of poisoning. Diarrhea carries a danger to a person, as with her the body quickly loses its water supply. Late rehydration - the introduction of saline solutions, may be one of the causes of death of the patient. Therefore, the efforts of doctors are directed primarily to the normalization of the chair and the elimination of dehydration.
Travelers' diarrhea is a disease of persons traveling to other climatic zones. Doctors distinguish the following criteria for this syndrome:
- stools more often than three times a day;
- cramping abdominal pain;
- accumulation of gas in the stomach;
Diarrhea occurs in approximately 20–50 percent of all travelers traveling to other regions and countries. Disorder of the function of the stomach occurs in the first or second week after the move on the background of the use of unusual food, drinking water from local sources. When traveling to Asia, Africa, Latin America, the risk of travelers diarrhea is usually higher.
Travelers' diarrhea is caused by the ingestion of strains of E. coli, Giardia, and infection with local viruses into the tourist's body. The most common cause of diarrhea is E. coli Esherichia coli - up to 80% of all cases. This bacteria, living in conditions of oxygen (aerobic), resistant to drying, persists for a long time in the ground, water and faeces. Many types of such bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, including such as "Ampicillin", "Cefalotin", etc.
Infection is transmitted through eating contaminated foods, drinking unboiled water, as well as through unwashed hands. Contributing to the cause of travelers' diarrhea are the following factors:
unusual food, especially meat;
- changes in the salt composition of water;
- eating seasonal foods;
- buying food or drinks on the street;
- stress, including climate change.
The greatest danger to travelers is salads, fruits and vegetables, which have damaged peel, meat products that have not undergone the necessary heat treatment, seafood, smoked products, milk and dairy products.
Symptoms of Travelers' Diarrhea
Symptoms can vary from pronounced to lighter, depending on the infectious agent and the body's response to toxins.
- Infection with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETP) leads to the development of acute diarrhea. The incubation period is from 16 hours to three days. Body temperature can be normal or subfebrile (37–38 ° C for a long time). Patients complain of general weakness, dizziness, abdominal pain, often having the nature of contractions. These symptoms include nausea and vomiting, rumbling of the abdomen. The stool is frequent, can reach up to 15 times a day, very plentiful and watery. The duration of the disease can be from five to ten days.
- Entero-invasive intestinal bacilli (EICP) lesion causes a dysentery-type disease. The incubation period can be from six hours to two days. The patient is worried about the symptoms of severe intoxication: chills, headaches and muscle pain, weakness, lack of appetite. Body temperature may be normal at the same time, but there are also increases up to 39 ° C. A few hours after the first symptoms, there are signs of gastrointestinal upset. The stool becomes frequent, initially watery, then impurities of mucus and sometimes blood appear in the stool. The pain in the abdomen is localized mainly in its lower part, has the nature of contractions. Characterized by tenesmus - false urge to defecate. With severe disease, diarrhea is a kind of “rectal spittle”. Fever, loose stools persist for 1-2 days, sometimes a little longer, but in general, the disease passes relatively quickly.
In case of colibacillosis caused by the bacteria Esherichia coli, symptoms of general poisoning of the body with their metabolic products appear. The incubation period is 1-7 days, then there is a sharp pain in the abdomen, vomiting, and loose stools up to five times a day. Temperature or normal, or kept elevated. At 2–4 days, the patient’s condition worsens, loose stools with blood impurities, the urge to it becomes more frequent (often falsely). With a severe course of the disease, patients show signs of uremia (a condition in which the body is poisoned by metabolic products), anemia (reducing the number of red blood cells in the blood and hemoglobin), and acute renal failure. Death is possible, especially for children.
- Giardia infestation manifests itself most often after the tourist returns from the trip, since in this case diarrhea has a long incubation period of up to twenty days. The onset of the disease is acute, sudden, characterized by frequent watery stools.
In some patients, after experiencing diarrhea, signs of irritable bowel develop. They suffer from abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements, when diarrhea alternate with constipation. In conditions of heat, patients may develop signs of dehydration of varying severity.
Treatment of travelers' diarrhea occurs on an outpatient basis for patients with moderate and severe severity. Hospitalization is indicated if there is severe pain, impurities of blood and pus in the stool, fever. Mild cases are amenable to self-treatment. For young children and pregnant women - hospitalization is required!
In the acute period is shown sparing diet. All unfamiliar and unfamiliar dishes are excluded, especially those that contain large amounts of fiber (fruits), essential oils and spices. Patients are allowed boiled and wiped dishes. Useful meatballs, mashed vegetables, crackers made of white bread. Rehydration therapy is needed - drinking large amounts of water, solutions Glukosolan, Regidron, Citraglukosolan, Humana Electrolyte, and others. This is done to compensate for the loss of fluid, as well as the balance of electrolytes in the body.
Preparations for travelers' diarrhea are prescribed depending on the condition of the patient. They are divided into several groups.
- Antibacterial drugs, the use of which is prescribed only by a doctor.
- Sorbents are prescribed to remove poisons and to normalize stools. Among them are Enterosgel, Smekta, Filtrum, Polysorb MP and others.
- For the treatment of dehydration prescribed drinking saline solutions, in particular, "Regidron", "Glukosolan" and others.
- To replenish minerals in the body, “Acesol”, “Disol”, etc. are prescribed.
- To displace harmful microflora from the intestines are assigned probiotics.
- To make food easier to digest, take polyenzymes.
- To restore intestinal motility, Loperamide, Imodium is prescribed.
The best prevention of travelers' diarrhea is vigilance as well as hygiene. In no case do not need to buy products from street vendors. Always wash your hands after using the toilet.
Bread, fruit, and also hot food are considered as safe products. Drink only bottled or boiled water. Do not brush your teeth with tap water .
Preventing traveler's diarrhea in children is based on careful hygiene. Children should not be given unfamiliar products. Teach children to always wash their hands after using the toilet. Keep children away from animals. Milk should be given to children only boiled. Careful adherence to the rules of hygiene - a pledge that the trip does not turn back for you unpleasant consequences.
Travelers' diarrhea is a disease that may not only spoil a trip abroad or another region. It threatens a person with serious life-threatening complications. During any trip, everyone should be attentive to their health and consult a doctor in time, even with the slightest signs of trouble. Remember that travelers' diarrhea is much easier to prevent than to cure. Especially it is important to know traveling in exotic countries.