Travelers' diarrhea

Alexander K.C. Leung, William Lane M. Robson, H. Dele Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Travelers' diarrhea is common. Between 8% and 50% of travelers develop diarrhea; incidence depends on the country visited. The attack rate is highest for travelers from a developed country who visit a developing country. Children are at particular risk. Travelers' diarrhea is usually acquired through ingestion of fecally contaminated food and water. Most cases are due to a bacterial pathogen, commonly, Escherichia coli, and occur within the first few days after arrival in a foreign country. More than 90% of episodes develop within the first 2 wk of initiation of travel. Dehydration is the most common complication. Water and electrolyte replenishment is important and can usually be accomplished with an oral rehydration solution. Judicious use of an antimotility agent and antimicrobial therapy reduces the duration and severity of diarrhea. Pretravel education on hygiene and on the safe selection of food items is important in minimizing episodes. Dukoral™ (Aventis Pharma Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand) vaccine should be considered for travelers who are 2 y of age or older and who will be visiting an area associated with risk of infection due to enterotoxigenic E coli or Vibrio cholerae. Typhoid vaccine is recommended for travelers who will be visiting areas with poor sanitation and hygiene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-527
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic
  • Antimotility agent
  • Contaminated food
  • Escherichia coli
  • Oral rehydration
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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