Personal hygiene and travellers' diarrhoea

Practical tips

  • Run showers with hot water for a few minutes before entering-inadequately treated water systems may harbour "bugs".
  • Cleaners may use personal toiletries for other purposes-keep flannels, toothbrushes out of sight!
  • Wash your hands frequently!
  • If possible carry a no water need hand sanitiser with you to clean your hands before eating.
  • Infected food and water are the most common ways of acquiring Travellers´Diarrhoea.
  • Avoid undercooked meats, particularly pork and poultry.
  • Avoid shellfish harvested from shallow water.
  • Inadequately reheated cooked rice is often source of infection.
  • Dehydration is the greatest threat to health during bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (approximately 3 litres a day).
  • Include diluted fruit juices and salty soups to help replace lost nutrients.
  • Try eat as little as possible during the first 24 hrs.
  • Commercially available oral rehydration packs can be useful standby.
  • Use bottled or treated water to reconstitute oral rehydration packs.
  • Avoid the use of drugs such as loperamide (Imodium, Arret) unless absolutely essential, as they slow down elimination of the causal organism.
  • Seek medical assistance if diarrhoea persists longer than 4-5 days.
  • If blood or mucus are present, or if a fever develops, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.