How can I prevent traveller's diarrhoea?

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Antibiotic treatment for travellers' diarrhoea (Cochrane Review)

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How can I prevent traveller's diarrhoea?

The Department of Health has published recommendations (see below) for preventing traveller's diarrhoea on the web.
  • Always wash your hands after going to the lavatory, before handling food and before eating.
  • If you have any doubts about the water available for drinking, washing food or cleaning teeth, boil it, sterilise it with disinfectant tablets or use bottled water - preferably carbonated with gas - in sealed containers.
  • Avoid ice unless you are sure it is made from treated and chlorinated water. This includes ice used to keep food cool as well as ice in drinks.
  • It is usually safe to drink hot tea or coffee, wine, beer, carbonated water and soft drinks, and packaged or bottled fruit juices.
  • Eat freshly cooked food which is thoroughly cooked and still piping hot.
  • Avoid food which has been kept warm.
  • Avoid uncooked food, unless you can peel or shell it yourself.
  • Avoid food likely to have been exposed to flies.
  • Avoid ice cream from unreliable sources, such as kiosks or itinerant traders.
  • Avoid - or boil - unpasteurised milk.
  • Fish and shellfish can be suspect in some countries. Uncooked shellfish, such as oysters, are a particular hazard.

Related Resources
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Diarrhea
Department of Health 'Health Advice for Travellers'
Travel Medicine
Fit for Travel
Traveller's Diarrhoea
Resources about Diarrhoea
Antibiotic treatment for travellers' diarrhoea (Cochrane Review)

Date of Posting: 16/01/2003
Date of next Review: 15/01/2005

Related Questions:
What causes traveller's diarrhoea?
Should I take an antibiotic with me in case I get traveller's diarrhoea?

MeSH keywords:
Diarrhea, Travel, Antibiotics, Prevention and Control

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