Travel Clinic / Travel-Related Illnesses / Traveler's Diarrhea

Traveler's Diarrhea

The Vanderbilt Travel Clinic is offering the Yellow Fever vaccine and will continue to carry this vaccine through 2019.
In addition, we are now offering the cholera vaccine.

Traveler's Diarrhea

The Centers for Disease Control says that as many as 60% of travelers experience travelers diarrhea. The illness results from eating contaminated food or water.

While there are several organisms that can cause diarrhea and stomach upset when you are traveling, the 2 most significant are Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease that is caused by a virus. This disease creates swelling in liver which stops it from working correctly. Hepatitis A is spread by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. It can also be spread through close personal contact with someone else who has the infection.

Typhoid Fever is a potentially fatal disease that is caused by the Salmonella bacteria. Similar to Hepatitis A, it can be spread through contaminated food and water as well as through close personal contact with an infected person.


Immunizations for both Hepatitis A and Typhoid Fever are highly recommended for travel almost everywhere in the world.

Travelers Diarrhea Symptoms:

  • 4 or more loose bowel movements in 24 hours
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Bloating
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Fever
  • Headache

You can protect yourself from becoming ill with diarrhea while traveling by following a few simple guidelines:

  • Get your vaccinations
  • Do not drink tap water even when brushing teeth
  • Order your drinks without ice
  • Exercise caution when making food and drink choices while traveling
  • Wash your hands before you eat
  • Eat only foods served hot
  • Do not buy anything from food vendors on the street