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It’s caused by drinking water or eating food that has bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Most traveler's diarrhea is from bacteria. Diarrhea from viruses and parasites is less common. Food and water can be infected by people:
You are at risk for this condition if you travel to a country that has poor public sanitation and hygiene. Poor hygiene in local restaurants is also a risk factor. Places that have the highest risk are often in developing countries in:
If you travel to a developing country, you are more likely to get this illness if you eat food or have drinks:
You’re also at increased risk if you:
The main symptom is loose stool that occurs suddenly. The stool may be watery. Other symptoms may include:
In most cases, symptoms last less than a week.
The loss of body fluid from diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration. This can be serious. Contact your healthcare provider if you are not urinating as much as usual.
A small number of people can develop post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome. This can cause symptoms such as:
You can take steps to prevent traveler's diarrhea.
Only use water that has been boiled or chemically disinfected for:
Don't eat foods such as:
Also make sure to:
Call a healthcare provider if you:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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