Most people have experienced some form of stomach infection at one point in their lives, usually when they have been overseas in a new environment. The symptoms usually include diarrhoea; in its most extreme form this becomes dysentery - the after effects can last for several years.
Dysentery is a highly contagious bacterial infection, which is spread by poor hygiene. It is usually spread by hand to mouth transfer from person to person, or from surfaces which have been contaminated by an infected person. Outbreaks are more likely to occur in overcrowded areas where poor hygiene practices exist. It is far more likely to happen to those people travelling to new areas, particularly Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia.
David Pryor of Medicare International says, "Those moving abroad should be especially cautious when visiting to larger cities with poor hygiene and should follow all the preventative measures outlined above. If you are unlucky enough to be struck down by this condition, despite following these guidelines, make sure you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. If the condition persists, ask for a doctor, as the condition may deteriorate without enough salts and fluid in the body."
International health insurance: News update: 3 May 2010