23 Jul 2019

E.coli advice for travellers to Egypt

Public Health England has issued advice to people travelling to Egypt E.coli advice for travellers to Egypt

Public Health England (PHE) has issued advice about E.coli prevention to people travelling to Egypt. This is after a of number travellers, 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 diarrhoea, 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 haemolytic uraemic syndrome, can be very serious.

PHE advice for all travellers 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 unpasteurised 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 whilst ill

If you have diarrhoea, fever and/or vomiting while on holiday, make sure you drink plenty of fluids and see a doctor if your symptoms don’t improve within 48 hours.

Let your holiday rep or 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 holiday, see your GP and remember to tell them that you have recently travelled abroad.

For specific information for individual countries, including Egypt, please go to our Country Information pages.

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