Yes, you read that right. This is an article about poop! Well, as a parent, I know it’s a big part of life! Don’t worry, I won’t go into the dirty details. This article is all about keeping the mess at bay, not cleaning it up!
The last time we went on vacation to a developing country, where we had to be worried about vaccines, was Mexico, in 2010. I wasn’t overly worried, because we were going to a pretty busy tourist area, but we got our Hep. A/B shots anyway, just in case. We brought along all of the important drugs, such as acetaminophen, allergy pills and diarrhea pills. We thought we had it covered!
We spend a wonderful couple of days, at our resort, in Cancun, eating the delicious food, swimming in the ocean and pool, and walking on the beach. Then, about 3 days into our vacation, all hell broke loose. I will spare you the details, but I spent half a day in bed and my husband more than a day, in pain. I won’t say it ruined our entire vacation, but it came close. We had to miss an amazing excursion, we pre-paid for, and there was no refund!
The diarrhea pills we brought helped, but did not completely take the sickness away. I would have loved to have something more effective. Did you know half of all travellers to a developing country get diarrhea, within a two-week period? It can last as long as 5 days and cause dehydration. I remember having to buy a lot of bottled water from the gift shop. Talk about expensive!
Now, we are planning another vacation to Mexico. I just found out there is a medicine we can take, before we travel, to help prevent travellers diarrhea. It’s called Dukoral, and it’s a drinkable vaccine, available from the pharmacy without a prescription. Sounds pretty convenient to me! I love planning as much as I can before my vacation, so I can have fun once we’re there. We love being active on vacation, and doing fun new things like zip-lining. Being sick is the last thing I want on vacation!
Here are some tips from Dukoral on staying healthy while on vacation in a developing country:
• Drinking bottled water is generally recommended to cut the risk of consuming ETEC bacteria. But just because water is in a bottle, doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been filled up at a tap. As a precaution, make sure the bottle is factory-sealed to guarantee that it is safe to drink.
• No food group can be regarded as “safe” from transmitting the bacteria that can cause travellers’ diarrhea. Food may stand for several hours at room temperature, allowing bacteria to multiply. It may become contaminated by food handlers or the environment before being consumed. The general rule of thumb is to “cook it, boil it, peel it or leave it” when consuming fruit or vegetables.
• ETEC infection can be prevented. The Canadian government recommends that high-risk travellers’ consult a healthcare provider before you travel. Canadians planning a vacation should talk to their pharmacist or other healthcare provider about DUKORAL®.
“DUKORAL® is a drinkable vaccine that can help prevent the illness caused by ETEC for up to three months, so they can take it when they book their vacation, and not have to worry about last-minute errands,” says Chung. “And, they can get it at their local pharmacy without a prescription.”
Disclosure: I was paid to write this post, however all opinions and stories, other than the tips and facts about travelers from Dukoral, are my own.