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Lake Hawea, New Zealand

E.coli advice for travelers to Egypt

On July 23, 2019, the Public Health England has issued advice to people travelling to Egypt.

Public Health England (PHE) has issued advice about E.coli prevention to people travelling to Egypt. This is after a of number travelers, including children, who all visited Hurghada in Egypt, returned with a serious illness caused by E. coli infection.

E. coli is caught by eating or drinking contaminated food or water and may cause an unpleasant illness. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and sometimes fever. Most people recover without medical treatment, but the very young and older people may develop complications, causing kidney failure. This rare condition, called hemolytic uremic syndrome, can be very serious.

PHE advice for all travelers to Egypt and any region where E.coli infections are common is:

• when possible, avoid eating salads and uncooked vegetables
• only eat fruit you can peel
• avoid unpasteurized milk, cheese and ice cream
• avoid food left uncovered in warm environments and exposed to flies
• ensure all meat is cooked thoroughly before eating, avoid any meat that is pink or cold
• only drink bottled water and avoid ice (unless made with bottled/filtered water)
• avoid tap water, even when brushing teeth
• wash your hands thoroughly after visiting the toilet, and always before preparing or eating food
• alcohol gel can be helpful (but not entirely effective) when hand washing facilities are not available
• when swimming, try and avoid swallowing water where possible and supervise children when swimming
• don’t swim while ill
If you have diarrhea, fever and/or vomiting while on vacation, make sure you drink plenty of fluids and see a doctor if your symptoms don’t improve within 48 hours.
Let your tour operator know that you are unwell. If you are staying in a hotel or resort, you should also inform the hotel reception or resort management about your illness.
Avoid preparing or serving food while you have symptoms and thoroughly wash your hands after using the toilet to stop the bug spreading. If you still have symptoms when you get back from your vacation, see your doctor and remember to tell them that you have recently travelled abroad.

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