Living in Canada, traveling outside of our beautiful country was always exciting and on my bucket lists! I’ve traveled to quite a few overseas countries; Dominican Republic, Cuba, Bahamas, Mexico, Thailand, China, Philippines, Ireland, France, and Italy (with SO much more to go)
I absolutely love to explore what our world has to offer, but I’ve learned one not-so-secret weapon when traveling;
Heard of it?
Well, the thing is, living in North America, our bodies have become accustomed to the types of bacteria in our water, our food, and our general surroundings. When we put our bodies in unfamiliar ecosystems, we become more prone to contract something from their bacterias.
And trust me, it’s awful.
This bacteria is called Enterotoxigenic E. coli aka Traveller’s Diarrhea.
It’s estimated to cause 200 million diarrheal episodes and approximately 380,000 deaths PER YEAR. Crazy.
When I went to the Philippines in 2010 I thought I’d be fine and I thought “travel diarrhea” wasn’t real, and the numbers didn’t mean anything. I have a strong stomach and it won’t happen to me.
Well OH MY GOSH I was wrong.
In the first week I complained to my mom I was feeling constipated, which is quite normal for me when I travel and usually I take some fiber then I’m good again. But, two weeks into my trip it hit me.
Like, REALLY hit me.
That dreaded diarrhea. At first, I thought it I just ate something bad and this would last a day.
Nope. TWO whole weeks! The rest of my trip, during the flight home, and a few days after that until I was able to see my doctor. Man, what a fun plane ride that was.
But little did I know that this was preventable.
I saw some ads on the TV about Dukoral – you know, comparing the two families where one stays in the hotel because they’re sick, and the other family is having the time of their lives on the beach. This vaccine promised to help you avoid these shitty situations when taken correctly.
I had another trip to the Philippines planned for February of this year (2017) and I wasn’t going to take any more chances. So about 2 months before my trip, I went to the local pharmacy and purchased Dukoral. It’s an over-the-counter product and no prescription is needed.
Now, you have to take it in two steps, weeks apart, in order for the vaccine to be effective. You kind of have to time it just perfectly. It’s oral and you drink the solution. It tastes like baking soda in water so not awful but not great. BUT SO WORTH IT.
My brother and I both took our doses before we went to the Philippines, and we were going to see a lot of family from Canada and the U.S. for a beautiful wedding in Boracay. We ate all the street foods available, drank what we wanted, and had a great time! But our aunts, not so fortunate. Almost 7 of them experienced the diarrhea symptoms when they ate and drank all the same things we did.
I could only thank Dukoral for this as I had absolutely no symptoms! We even traveled to the more remote part of the Philippines and even Thailand. No problems there!
I’ve also had a lot of friends travel to the resorts down south like Cuba and Mexico and experience the exact same traveler’s diarrhea. That does not make a fun and relaxing trip.
So, if you’re thinking to travel overseas, PLEASE really consider this vaccine – it could really help you continue to have a great and safe vacation.
Check out this map to see if you’re at risk in your future travels:
Check out the official Dukoral website here!
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Have you experienced this before? Do you have any other tricks for when you travel? Let me know in the comments!
(I am in no way affiliated with Dukoral or VALNEVA Canada Inc. All statments and opinions are my own. Just wanting to spread the word!)