Personal hygiene and travellers' diarrhoea
- 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.