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Common Health Problems Linked to Travel in Developing Countries

According to the World Health Organization and the CDC, some of the most common health problems linked with travel to developing countries are:

  • Traveler's diarrhea. This is by far the most common risk. It affects up to 4 in 5international travelers based on the destination.

  • Enterotoxic E. coli diarrhea

  • Malaria

  • Acute febrile respiratory tract infections

  • Influenza

Less common infections may also be a risk in certain areas. Some are related to sexual contact with an infected person: 

  • Hepatitis (A, B, and C)

  • Gonorrhea

  • Animal bites with rabies

  • Typhoid and paratyphoid fever

  • HIV infection

  • Legionella infection

  • Cholera

  • Meningococcal disease

  • Dengue fever

  • Prion diseases

  • Yellow fever

  • Tuberculosis

  • SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)

  • Poliomyelitis

A new travel risk since December 2019 is COVID-19. It's caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2, which is a type of coronavirus. All parts of the world are affected. You must take precautions during travel. Travel to highly affected areas is best done for essential reasons only. Limiting travel to these areas is strongly encouraged. For the most current CDC travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

Medical Reviewers:

  • Barry Zingman MD
  • L Renee Watson MSN RN
  • Raymond Turley Jr PA-C