Suffering from traveller's tummy is a fear many people have when visiting a foreign place, especially a developing county. Research shows that one in three people may be genetically susceptible to traveler’s diarrhea, caused by an E coli bacteria. “In the future, we might be able to do a quick test to determine if someone is susceptible and if so, the logical thing would be to give them antibiotics before they travel, to prevent them from getting sick,” says Dr. Herbert DuPont, co-author of the University of Texas study.
In the meantime, the ‘boil it, peel it, cook it or forget it’ rule is sensible for visits to developing countries. To further guard against poor restaurant hygiene, Dr. David Shlim, medical director of Jackson Hole Travel and Tropical Medicine in Wyoming suggests ordering only freshly cooked dishes (like meat), avoiding reheated items such as lasagna or quiche and carrying a quick-acting antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin.