Travel medicine update

Travellers’ diarrhoea in general practice

Rob Baird, Jonathan Cohen



Diarrhoea is an unfortunate reality of travel to developing countries. Here is some advice GPs can give to intending travellers.

Article Extract

Diarrhoea is the most common problem affecting travellers. Travellers’ diarrhoea is generally defined as three or more loose bowel motions within a 24-hour period, with at least one other symptom such as fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or cramping, or blood or pus in the stool.

Pathology or other investigations are rarely undertaken until travellers return home. Assignment of the cause, therefore, often occurs after the event and immediate therapy. GPs can help prepare intending travellers for possible encounters with travellers’ diarrhoea by advising them how to prevent it and how to manage it should it occur.