Diarrhoea: prevention for travellers

on 8.4.09 with 0 comments

Food: avoid raw vegetables, fruit you cannot peel yourself, unpasteurised dairy products, fish, shellfish and meat that is raw or not cooked through. (Cook it, peel it or leave it). Avoid food from street stalls. Food should be protected against flies.

Drink: drink tea, coffee or bottled water, preferably sparkling (less risk of having been tampered with). Beer can quench the thirst, but large quantities of alcoholic drinks are not recommended. Avoid bottles sealed with reused crown caps. Ice cubes are not to be trusted. Drinking water can be filtered. This can be done in a number of ways (large porcelain filters such as Berkefeld, active charcoal filters, portable Katadyne filters). Afterwards the water can be boiled or purified chemically with silver salts such as Micropur®, Drinkwell® (not active against viruses), Chloramine (250 mg per 10-50 litres), sodium hypochlorite (Javel, Drinkwell chlorine®, Hadex®). An unpleasant taste of chlorine can be removed by adding the non-toxic sodium thiosulphate (Drinkwell-antichlorine® drops) work in for an hour. Lugol or 2% tincture of iodine (eight drops per litre) can also be used and is more active against amoebic cysts. Long-term use (more than 3 months) is not recommended. Thyroid disorders and pregnancy are contra-indications.

Chemoprophylaxis: This is normally not advised routinely, but does provide partial protection (e.g. ofloxacin). Only to be considered for short journeys where absolutely nothing should go wrong.

Category: Medical Subject Notes , Medicine Notes



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