Diarrhea/food poisoning prevention and first aids

Travelers’ diarrhea (TD)/food poisoning are the most predictable travel-related illness. Attack rates range from 30% to 70% of travelers, depending on the destination and season of travel. Traditionally, it was thought that TD could be prevented by following simple recommendations such as “boil it, cook it, peel, it, or forget it,” but studies have found that people who follow these rules may still become ill. Poor hygiene practice in local restaurants is likely the largest contributor to the risk for TD.

Bacteria are the most common cause of TD. Overall, the most common pathogen is Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, followed by Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella spp., and Salmonella spp.

Practice proper hand hygiene

The virus can stay in your stool for 2 weeks or more after you feel better. So, it is important to continue washing your hands often during this time.

Wash fruits and vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly

Noroviruses are relatively resistant. They can survive temperatures as high as 140°F and quick steaming processes that are often used for cooking shellfish.

When you are sick, do not prepare food or care for others who are sick

You should not prepare food for others or provide healthcare while you are sick and for at least 3 days after symptoms stop.

Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces

Important note:  the best temporary self treatment when you are in remote area or limited medical facility is to hydrate well with water or oral electrolytes.

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