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Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006 Jul;19(3):583-94.

Prevention and self-treatment of traveler's diarrhea.

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  • 1Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative, Sabin Vaccine Institute, 1889 F St. NW, Suite 200S, Washington, DC 20006, USA.


Of the millions who travel from the industrialized world to developing countries every year, between 20% and 50% will develop at least one episode of diarrhea, making it the most common medical ailment afflicting travelers. Although usually a mild illness, traveler's diarrhea can result in significant morbidity and hardship overseas. Precautions can be taken to minimize the risk of developing traveler's diarrhea, either through avoidance of potentially contaminated food or drink or through various prophylactic measures, including both nonpharmacological and antimicrobial strategies. If diarrhea does develop despite the precautions taken, effective treatment-usually a combination of an antibiotic and an antimotility agent-can be brought by the traveler and initiated as soon as symptoms develop. In the future, vaccines-several of which are in the advanced stages of clinical testing-may be added to the list of prophylactic measures.

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