Follow These Tips to Prevent Montezuma's Revenge, an Unwelcome Souvenir
WebMD News Archive
No effective vaccines are currently available to guard against
diarrhea, so precautions need to be taken once you arrive at your destination,
Robert Edelman, MD, tells WebMD. The best advice for the general tourist, he
says, is: "Drink bottled water and beverages with labels on them." He
says carbonated beverages are best because they inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Edelman is director of the Travelers Health Clinic at the University of
Maryland in Baltimore.
But how does the typical globetrotter compare with Peace Corps
volunteers? Not very closely, according to Edelman. "Peace Corps volunteers
integrate themselves into the environment as much as possible," he says.
"As a result, they eat and drink things that a tourist on a four-star jaunt
... surrounded by a cocoon of preventive, trained guides, would not be exposed
Still, "we can take a lesson from this study," Edelman
says. If Peace Corps volunteers can get sick, anyone can. "Being informed
before traveling about good food and water hygiene" is essential.
Good advice. After all, an ideal trip abroad should send you
searching for landmarks and castles, not restrooms.
- It is common for people who travel to foreign countries, especially
developing countries, to suffer from diarrhea.
- To protect yourself, avoid raw foods such as salad, uncooked vegetables,
and fruit (unless you peel it yourself), unpasteurized milk or milk products,
raw meat, and shellfish, and be sure to drink bottled water or other beverages
with a label on it.
- If diarrhea is severe or bloody, lasts for several days, or is accompanied
by fever or chills, you should seek medical attention.