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Traveler's Diarrhea

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Turtle's picture

By Turtle - Posted on 25 August 2008

The chances are pretty good that you'll suffer some kind of gastro-intestinal upset during your trip to Africa... Traveler's diarrhea ("TD") is the most common ailment of travelers in the developing world.

To treat traveler's diarrhea, make sure that you bring an over-the-counter diarrhea medication such as Imodium (loperamide). You should also ask your physician for a prescription for a broad-spectrum antibiotic, such as Cipro (ciprofloxacin) to treat bad cases caused by bacterial infection. Keep in mind that most cases of TD are caused by viruses, and the antibiotic is ineffective against viruses.

The most important measure for avoiding traveler's diarrhea is proper hygiene. All staff and climbers on your trek should wash their hands after using the toilet, and before handling or eating food. When you're choosing a Kili guide or tour operator, it's a good idea to ask what they do to enforce hygiene on the mountain.

Other common sense precautions are to make sure that you only drink water that has been boiled or filtered, and only eat fruits and vegetables that have been peeled or thoroughly cooked.

Turtle says "pole pole"