open access

Vol 70, No 4 (2019)
TROPICAL MEDICINE Review articles
Published online: 2019-12-24
Submitted: 2019-11-22
Accepted: 2019-12-13
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Gastrointestinal infections in returned travelers

Agnieszka Fedor, Ignacy Bojanowski, Krzysztof Korzeniewski
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2019.0039
·
Pubmed: 31891179
·
International Maritime Health 2019;70(4):244-251.

open access

Vol 70, No 4 (2019)
TROPICAL MEDICINE Review articles
Published online: 2019-12-24
Submitted: 2019-11-22
Accepted: 2019-12-13

Abstract

Gastrointestinal infections are one of the most frequent medical conditions diagnosed in patients who travel to tropical or subtropical destinations. The most common disorder occurring in up to 60% travelling people is travelers’ diarrhea (TD). The illness is defined as a minimum of three loose stools within 24 hours; in most cases TD is caused by the enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Its symptoms usually persist for 4–5 days and resolve spontaneously or on self-administered empirical antimicrobial therapy, but in case of an invasive infection, it is necessary to seek medical care. As most tourists travel for 1–2 weeks, the disease often persists or develops upon return; therefore, it is important to raise awareness of TD’s clinical features and treatment options among physicians from travelers’ home countries unaccustomed to this health problem. Another issue, which is gaining more and more importance in recent years, is post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome, a chronic disturbance affecting up to 17% of patients, who have had travelers’ diarrhea. This review aims to promote prophylaxis of gastrointestinal disorders and to extend knowledge about their after-effects in returned travelers.

Abstract

Gastrointestinal infections are one of the most frequent medical conditions diagnosed in patients who travel to tropical or subtropical destinations. The most common disorder occurring in up to 60% travelling people is travelers’ diarrhea (TD). The illness is defined as a minimum of three loose stools within 24 hours; in most cases TD is caused by the enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Its symptoms usually persist for 4–5 days and resolve spontaneously or on self-administered empirical antimicrobial therapy, but in case of an invasive infection, it is necessary to seek medical care. As most tourists travel for 1–2 weeks, the disease often persists or develops upon return; therefore, it is important to raise awareness of TD’s clinical features and treatment options among physicians from travelers’ home countries unaccustomed to this health problem. Another issue, which is gaining more and more importance in recent years, is post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome, a chronic disturbance affecting up to 17% of patients, who have had travelers’ diarrhea. This review aims to promote prophylaxis of gastrointestinal disorders and to extend knowledge about their after-effects in returned travelers.

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Keywords

gastrointestinal infections, travelers’ diarrhea, treatment, prophylaxis

About this article
Title

Gastrointestinal infections in returned travelers

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 70, No 4 (2019)

Pages

244-251

Published online

2019-12-24

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2019.0039

Pubmed

31891179

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2019;70(4):244-251.

Keywords

gastrointestinal infections
travelers’ diarrhea
treatment
prophylaxis

Authors

Agnieszka Fedor
Ignacy Bojanowski
Krzysztof Korzeniewski

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