Travellers diarrhea in Pakistan – diagnosis, and treatment

Traveller diarrhea in Pakistan could be a cause of concern for visitors from other countries travelling to the area.

Why is it the case? Pakistan has the fifth-highest rate of diarrhea-related death and morbidity. Diarrhea is the second-largest cause of death in Pakistan, according to studies. Sadly, Pakistan lacks modern research laboratories, ongoing monitoring programs, enough training, and adequate healthcare facilities. Extremely low standards of water quality and sanitation are afflicting Pakistan’s densely populated urban centres. Despite these efforts, diarrhea continues to be a significant threat to the health of the Pakistani people.

The country’s south-eastern province appears to be in the grips of a diarrhea epidemic at a time when the region is already struggling under record-breaking temperatures. As acute dehydration continues to place people of all ages in intensive care, it is feared that this year’s death toll could be much worse than last.

What exactly is traveler’s diarrhea?

There are many different names for travelers’ diarrhea because of how well-known it is. Delhi Belly is associated with India, Montezuma’s Revenge is associated with Mexico, and Pharaoh’s Revenge is associated with Egypt. Essentially, they all refer to a single thing, and it’s something every vacationer hopes to avoid at all costs.

One of the most typical problems that tourists have when travelling to Pakistan is diarrhea. Generally speaking, it’s caused by ingesting germs through tainted food or drink. The vast majority of instances are short-lived and moderate. Antibiotics are sometimes used when symptoms are severe.

Travellers diahrrea Types

The updated definitions of TD categorize the severity of the disorder into three categories: mild, moderate, and severe. Mild TD symptoms are manageable, rarely cause discomfort, and rarely prevent people from going about their day as usual. Regardless of the frequency of bowel movements, an intermediate episode is uncomfortable and disrupts the patient’s plans and capacity to function. There are often significant secondary symptoms that bother the patient. 

When TD is severe, it makes the patient totally helpless, preventing them from taking part in any of their prearranged activities. In most cases, the patient should be kept in close proximity to a bathroom.

Dysentery is an invasive disease caused by injury to the intestinal mucosa, and its symptoms include fever and blood in the stool. We always consider dysentery to be a very serious case of TD. There is little practical difference between moderate and severe TD; any degree of incapacity is problematic. 

Regardless of the number of loose stools or other symptoms, a TD episode is incapacitating if it forces the patient to miss essential activities like attending a business meeting, seeing a famous tourist attraction, or boarding a flight.


Getting sick while visiting a foreign country, especially a developing nation like Pakistan, is a terrible experience. Traveller’s diarrhea is a real possibility in Pakistan, especially on long bus travels, while camping, while shopping, or while simply exploring the country.

Although the symptoms might not seem serious at first, it is important to monitor your health. The onset of symptoms is usually rapid after the organism or virus has entered the body.

Traveller’s diarrhea is characterized by the following typical symptoms:

  • Discomfort in the belly
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Strong urge to defecate
  • Reduced body temperature
  • Headache


Your doctor will want to know about your clinical problem and current symptoms. Your recent travels will likely be a topic of inquiry. A swab culture of your feces or other diagnostic procedures may also be necessary. Stool samples are collected for the purpose of culturing. To test for pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and parasites, it is submitted to a lab. Other diagnostic procedures may be considered if your symptoms persist for more than ten to fourteen days.


If you get traveller’s diarrhea in Pakistan, it’s preferable to see a doctor rather than try to treat it on your own. Women who are expecting young children benefit greatly from this.

Pepto-Bismol, taken at a dosage of 2 ounces four times daily (or 2 tablets four times daily), reduces the severity and duration of diarrhea and reduces the length of time you’re sick. You shouldn’t take this drug for longer than three weeks at a time, but it seems to work well in preventing traveller’s diarrhea.

Pepto-possible Bismol’s adverse effects include short-term blackening of the tongue and stools, occasional nausea, constipation, and, in extremely rare cases, ringing in the ears. Patients with gout, renal insufficiency, or taking anticoagulants, probenecid (Benemid, Probalan), or methotrexate should avoid taking Pepto-Bismol (Rheumatrex).

Reducing dehydration and restoring electrolyte balance are the cornerstones of treatment for diarrhea. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) oral rehydration salts (ORS) solution is ideal for this purpose. Pakistan, like other impoverished countries, stocks ORS packets in its shops and pharmacies.


In some cases, traveller’s diarrhea in Pakistan might clear up without medical intervention. However, while you wait, it’s crucial to drink something safe, like water from a bottle or an oral rehydration solution that contains electrolytes. If you aren’t feeling better after using over-the-counter remedies, it’s time to consult best diarrhea doctor in Karachi.


1. How long does it take for travellers’ diarrhea to strike?

It usually takes between six and twenty-four hours for symptoms of a bacterial or viral illness to manifest. Intestinal parasite infection symptoms may not appear for up to three weeks. This provides a possible rationale for the persistence of diarrhea in travellers even after they return home, often for as long as a week.

2. What are the means by which travellers’ diarrhea can be transmitted from one person to another?

Food or water contaminated with excrement poses a health risk to everyone who consumes it. Despite the common misconception, contamination of food and water does not occur through direct contact with feces, but rather through the handling of these products by people who have fecal matter on their hands.

3. How long does a traveller’s diarrhea often last?

Without medical intervention, most patients feel better in just a few days. Full recovery typically occurs within a week. But even if you just get it once, you can get it several times in one trip. Traveller’s diarrhea is characterized by the sudden appearance of three or more loose, watery stools daily.

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