Traveler’s diarrhea refers to intestinal and stomach infection and occurs due to unsanitary conditions during handling of food. This disorder is characterized by frequent abdominal cramps resulting in loose stools and is usually caused by consumption of contaminated water or food. Travelling from one place to another where the sanitary conditions, social conditions, climate and other factors are different and hence presents high risk of developing traveler’s diarrhea.
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This is one of the most common condition affecting travelers every year, for example according to data enumerated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 20% to 50% an estimated 10 million of the international traveler’s develop traveler’s diarrhea every year. This disorder occurs during the travel period or post return and also in some cases one can experience multiple episodes of diarrhea during one trip. Developing countries of Latin America, Middle East, Asia and Africa represent the areas for highest risk of contracting traveler’s diarrhea. Immunosuppressed individuals, young adults and individuals with inflammatory bowel disorders and diabetic patients constitute the highly susceptible patient population for contracting traveler’s diarrhea.
Intensity of infection varies depending on the type of eating establishment. For instance, there is low risk of infection if the food is consumed in private homes and poses high risk of infection in the food from the street vendors. Nausea, vomiting, fever, frequent defecate and abdominal cramps are some of the common symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea. Most of the cases are benign and resolve quickly but sometimes sign and symptoms persist for several days and can be more severe in cases where it is caused by other organisms other than common bacteria.
In these cases, prescription medicines are recommended for the treatment. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli is the most common causative agent of traveler’s diarrhea. Travelers can minimize the risk of developing traveler’s diarrhea by adopting several preventive measures such as use of bottled drinking water, avoiding consumption of raw or uncooked seafood and meat and raw fruits.
Consulting a doctor than self medication is preferred for the treatment of traveler’s diarrhea and especially relevant to pregnant women and children. There are several medications prescribed for the treatment of diarrhea. For example, Pepto-Bismol tablet shortens the duration of illness and decreases diarrhea. This drug is not advised to take for more than three weeks at a time as it results in certain side effects such as temporary blackening of stools and tongue, constipation, nausea and others. Also, the consumption of this is not recommended for the patients who have aspirin allergy, gout, renal insufficiency and who are already taking anticoagulants. Other treatment options are replacement of fluids and salts achieved by the intake of oral rehydration solutions such as oral rehydration salts (ORS).
The traveler’s diarrhea market can be analyzed by the various medications available for the treatment and the geographical landscape. Antimicrobial therapy is the most preferred one and fluoroquinolones are the most preferred. The geographical landscape elucidates the analysis of the market by four major geographies namely North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Rest of the World. In addition, factors such as side effects of the drugs, introduction of alternate therapies, and increased focus on preventive care would impact the market growth.
Furthermore, regulatory policies, marketing approvals for drugs and safety concerns would further influence the market growth. The major factors favoring the market growth are increasing cases of traveler’s diarrhea and growing tourism across the globe. On the other hand, factors such as side effects of the drugs and lack of accessibility to appropriate treatment might encumber the market growth.
Bayer AG, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Inc. and Novartis AG are some of the companies operating in this market.
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