Health Questions and Answers

Question: What is traveler’s diarrhea?

Answer:

Traveler’s diarrhea is a common term given to the onset of diarrhea in patients who have traveled to other countries, usually in the third world, where the enteric flora are different. Eighty percent of cases are caused by bacteria that can be transmitted via a fecal-oral route. Viruses account for 10% of cases, and parasites cause 2-3%. In the remainder of cases the cause is unknown.

Reference:  Sleisenger MH, Fordtran JS (eds): Gastrointestinal Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management, 7th ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 2003

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