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Traveller's diarrhea among Austrian tourists to warm climate countries: II. Clinical features.

Authors
  • Kollaritsch, H
Type
Published Article
Journal
European journal of epidemiology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1989
Volume
5
Issue
3
Pages
355–362
Identifiers
PMID: 2792310
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The syndrome "Traveller's Diarrhea" (TD) is important for tourists travelling to warm-climate countries. In this study a worldwide survey on the clinical features of enteritis among 1,455 Austrian tourists is reported. The clinical parameters of TD show that this disease exhibits a very uniform clinical course which is not influenced by different regions with considerable differences in aetiology or by travel-associated parameters such as accommodation, travel style and individual dietary hygiene: TD starts mainly at the end of first week of the stay and the average duration of illness is 3.6 +/- 2.7 days. Watery and mucous stools were reported by 99% of patients with a frequency of 4 bowel movements per day, while bloody diarrhea occurred very rarely. However, 57.2% of patients suffered from abdominal cramps, less than one third of patients reported nausea and/or vomiting and fever accompanied the acute disease in 13%. Symptoms indicate that TD should not be considered a severe disease. The diarrheal illness will show the characteristics of an enteroinvasive disease only in rare cases. Treatment of TD is discussed: symptomatic or other non-antibiotic agents are preferable as antibiotics will only occasionally be necessary for treatment of an illness with a self-limiting character. For prophylaxis of TD, the preferable way to resolve the problem of TD in international travel, very few effective preparations are currently available, emphasizing the need for extensive research in this field.

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