Diarrhea refers to loose, watery and frequent stools that occur more than three times a day. There are different levels of diarrhea: acute diarrhea usually lasts no more than two days and disappears without any medication while prolonged diarrhea, when the condition lasts more than two days and might cause dehydration, is a more severe problem.

As far as travelers are concerned, acute and prolonged diarrheas are the major threats. The condition is often referred to as traveler’s diarrhea. Many tourists and backpackers suffer from it each year, with diarrhea often linked with poor sanitary conditions. It may also affect people travelling high class, however, due to regime and climate changes.

Diarrhea is a cause of dehydration which makes the body unable to function properly. If not cured rapidly, it can induce major health problems. Moreover diarrhea can be a symptom of a more serious disease, such as dysentery or cholera. If the symptoms persist, you need to contact a physician.

How serious: diarrhea is a major threat for young children and old people as it may cause quick dehydration. However, most of the time, it only lasts a couple of days.

How likely: all travelers heading to developing countries are likely to face the annoyance of diarrhea.

How to get it: diarrhea is contracted through parasites, viral infections or bacteria. Food intolerance is also a cause of gastroenteritis, and therefore diarrhea.

Symptoms: of the disease include abdominal cramps, nausea and bloating. Of course, if you have frequent urgent needs to use the bathroom, that’s a major sign.

How to avoid it: the main risk is in what you eat and drink. Avoid the use of tap water and do not add any ice cubes to your soda so as to avoid infected tap water. All fruits and vegetables must be thoroughly cleansed and meat properly cooked.

How to treat it: the major risk of diarrhea is dehydration. Drink plenty of liquids and avoid dairy products. In some cases, medication is given, such as antibiotics.

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