Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)-Diarrhea

The most common cause for travellers’ diarrhea is ETEC, in many parts of the world.

Annually, enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) is estimated to cause 200 million diarrheal episodes and approximately 380,000 deaths.

Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) is the most common cause for travellers’ diarrhea. Human or animal wastes (feces) are the primary source of enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) contamination. In 60% of cases, ETEC produces a toxin called heat-labile enterotoxin (LT).

If you eat food or drink water or ice that is contaminated with ETEC, you are at risk of getting travellers’ diarrhea. 98% of travellers to high-risk areas consumed food or beverages that would put them at risk of travellers’ diarrhea within the first 3 days of their trip.

Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)-diarrhea can also spread very easily from person to person.
A study assessed the cost of travellers’ diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC). An episode of travellers’ diarrhea was estimated to cost US $1,460, including US $400 per day in travel, time and medical costs. Those affected lose an average of 3.5 days of vacation time.

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