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Food borne and waterborne diseases

Overview

Depending on the travel destination, travelers may be exposed to a number of infectious diseases; exposure depends on the presence of infectious agents in the area to be visited. The risk of becoming infected will vary according to the purpose of the trip and the itinerary within the area, the standards of accommodation, hygiene and sanitation, as well as the behavior of the traveler. In some instances, disease can be prevented by vaccination, but there are some infectious diseases, including some of the most important and most dangerous, for which no vaccines exist.

General precautions can greatly reduce the risk of exposure to infectious agents and should always be taken for visits to any destination where there is a significant risk of exposure. These precautions should be taken regardless of whether any vaccinations or medication have been administered.

Food borne and waterborne diseases

Food- and waterborne diseases are transmitted by consumption of contaminated food and drink. The risk of infection is reduced by taking hygienic precautions with all food, drink and drinking-water consumed when traveling and by avoiding direct contact with polluted recreational waters (see Chapter 3). Examples of diseases transmitted by food and water are hepatitis A, typhoid fever and cholera.