2004 Volume 32 Issue 1 Pages 21-26
A cross-sectional survey of 327 Japanese short-term travelers (≤3 weeks) arriving in Bangkok, Thailand was conducted to assess the incidence of travelers’ diarrhea (TD) as well as their symptoms and treatment-seeking behaviors. The incidence of the first episode of TD (FTD) was ascertained retrospectively by questionnaire. Reported by 69 travelers, FTD clustered within the first 8 days of arrival in Thailand, and the incidence rate varied from 2% to 8% with the highest incidence on the third day.
Cumulative probability of FTD was 19% for those arriving in Thai directly from Japan, 42 % for those arriving via Southeast Asia, and 25% for those arriving via other regions at Day 7 by the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Log rank test revealed a higher FTD risk for travelers arriving via other Southeast Asian countries than for those arriving directly from Japan (P < 0.005). Of all the 69 FTD episodes, 33% had classic TD defined as ≥3 unformed stools per 24 hours with at least one accompanying symptom, 49% had moderate TD defined as ≤2 unformed stools with at least one additional symptom or more unformed stools without additional symptoms, and 17% had mild TD defined as with ≤ 2 unformed stools without additional symptoms. Cumulative probability of FTD at Day 7 was 12% for classic TD, 25% for classic plus moderate TD and 30% for all the TD. More than 38% of travelers with diarrhea took medicine brought from Japan. Among travelers with classic TD, 35% bought medicine in Thailand, whereas 47-50% of travelers with moderate and mild TD took only rest without any treatment.