Illness in the uk or abroad

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Illnesses

A holiday is an important event in everyone’s lives and is often the most expensive single item in every person’s annual budget. It is something that we look forward to and often spend time planning and saving for; so when your holiday is ruined by illness it can be a traumatic and stressful experience. Most holidaymakers are not aware of their rights if they fall ill after consuming food and/or drink on holiday and worst of all, many do not know what to do or who to turn to for help. Journey Owl are here to educate, advise and assist those who have fallen ill on holiday.

The most common symptoms that holidaymakers complain of include: diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pains, blood in stools, fever and nausea. In some cases, holidaymakers can contract serious illnesses. See below for more information on the most common illnesses that holidaymakers suffer from whilst on holiday.

Salmonella

Typical Symptoms
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Fever

Incubation Period

After consumption of contaminated food, symptoms usually occur within 6-72 hours.

Sources

The Salmonella bacterium is widespread in the intestines of birds, reptiles and mammals but can spread to humans via a variety of different foods of animal origin, such as, meat, poultry, eggs and unpasteurised dairy products.

Salmonellosis is preventable by the application of standard food hygiene measures, such as sufficiently washing hands before handling food and avoiding cross-contamination between food sources.

Diagnosis of infection is often made through laboratory testing of a stool sample. Most people recover completely, but a small number go on to develop joint pain, irritation of the eyes and painful urination known as Reiter’s Syndrome leading to chronic arthritis. Treatment is often with antibiotics.

Shigella

Typical Symptoms
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Fever

Incubation Period

After consumption of contaminated food, symptoms usually occur within 1-3 days, but can be 1-7 days.

Sources

The infection passes by the faecal-oral route from eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. You can catch Shigellosis from another person with the illness. The infective dose is small, spreading easily between people. Often associated with poor personal hygiene, inadequate toilet facilities, flies and sewage-contaminated food and water.

Legionnaires

Typical Symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Aching Muscles
  • Fever
  • Weight Loss
  • Mental confusion / Disorientation

Incubation Period

After consumption of contaminated food, symptoms usually occur within 2-10 days.

Those particularly at risk include the over 50s and people who smoke or have chest problems.

Sources

The causes of Legionnaire’s disease include people breathing in legionella bacteria, which live in water droplets carried in the air. Large numbers of legionella bacteria can multiply quickly in containers of standing water, e.g. used in some air conditioning and industrial cooling units. Hotels that do not change the water in their air conditioning units on a daily basis risk an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.

Cryptosporidium

Typical Symptoms
  • Profuse Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

Incubation Period

After consumption of contaminated food, symptoms usually occur within 2-5 days but can be up to 12 days.

Sources

Cryptosporidium is shed in the faeces of infected humans and animals. Infection is transmitted by ingesting the organism via the faecal-oral route and so typical sources include infected people who have diarrhoea, people with poor personal hygiene and diapered children.

Campylobacter

Typical Symptoms
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Fever

Incubation Period

After consumption of contaminated food, symptoms usually occur within 2-4 days.

Sources

Infection is through contaminated material such as earth, water, uncooked or cross-contaminated food that has been in contact with the feces of an infected individual or animal. Contact must then be transferred to the mouth and swallowed. It is especially prevalent amongst those in regular contact with bodies of fresh water including recreational water such as swimming pools. Other potential sources include insufficiently treated water supplies, contaminated food, or exposure to feces.

Campylobacter

Typical Symptoms
  • Diarrhoea
  • Blood In Stools
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Flu-like symptoms

Incubation Period

After consumption of contaminated food, symptoms usually occur within 1-3 days, but can be 1-7 days.

Sources

E-coli is a bacterial infection caused by one of many strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. The bacteria lives in the intestines of healthy humans and is often harmless, but, different strains of E-coli exist around the world, so when you travel abroad you can get re-¬colonised by the local strain, causing a slight stomach upset. E-coli is transmitted via the faecal-oral route, often due to poor hygiene standards. For example, in undercooked food such as meat, or by drinking un-pasteurised milk or contaminated water.

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