Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
You may have a parasite infection, so you need to be evaluated by a doctor.
Many cases of "traveler's diarrhea" resolve on their own. These cases are typically caused by a mild bacterial infection or by a virus.
Traveler's diarrhea can also result from parasite infections, especially infections with amoebas or giardia. Because of your recent travel or impure water exposure, your stool should be examined for parasite eggs and parasites. This evaluation is called an "ova and parasite" examination. Parasite infections can be treated with selected antibiotics.
Your doctor is likely to request a stool sample when you arrive, so it may be useful for you to collect a sample at home that could be used for testing. Stool can be examined by a medical laboratory to see if it contains inflammatory cells (fecal leukocytes) that are evidence of pus in the stool. Chemical tests can identify the presence of blood in the stool.
Your stool sample can also be tested for specific bacteria infections that are a cause of diarrhea, including salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, and aggressive strains of e. coli.
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