Salmonella infections in travellers returning from Turkey

An increase of Salmonella (Salmonellosis Enteritidis) cases have been reported in returning travellers
Salmonella infections in travellers returning from Turkey

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have reported a number of cases of gastrointestinal (sickness and diarrhoea) illness in travellers returning from Turkey, with most cases reported in people who visited Antalya region [1]. Laboratory tests identified Salmonella Enteritidis infection (Salmonellosis) and suggest a likely common source of infection. As of 28 July 2023, the source of infection has not been found. UKHSA is working with the Turkish public health authorities and other international public health partners to investigate this [1].

Symptoms of Salmonella usually include fever, abdominal pain (stomach cramps), diarrhoea, nausea, sometimes with vomiting [2] and usually resolve in four to seven days with self-care. However, the illness can be more serious in young children, older people and for people with weakened immune systems [1-3].

Advice for travellers

Before you travel

Check our Country Information pages for advice about your destination before you go.

Travel with a basic first aid kit. Travellers' diarrhoea can happen anywhere, so pack items to reduce your risk, such as hand sanitiser, and "over the counter" remedies to help you manage diarrhoea such as oral rehydration powders.

Comprehensive travel insurance is recommended for all travellers.

While you are away

Take care with food and water hygiene.

Wash your hands thoroughly, especially after using the toilet and before preparing or eating food.

Avoid unpasteurised dairy products and wash fruit and vegetables carefully, particularly if they are eaten raw.

Recently prepared, thoroughly cooked food that is served piping hot, fruit you can peel yourself (like bananas and oranges) and pasteurised dairy produce such as yoghurts, milk and cheese are good options.

Avoid ice unless you are sure it is made from safe water.

Keep perishable foods in the fridge or freezer when possible.

If you have symptoms

Drink plenty of fluids (try small sips if you are feeling sick) to prevent dehydration. This is especially important in hot weather.

Carry on breast or bottle feeding babies.

Dehydration is a concern for babies and young children with diarrhoea. Older people, pregnant women and anyone with pre-existing conditions are also more at risk of complications from dehydration.

For more severe symptoms or those at risk of complications, oral rehydration powders can be mixed with clean drinking water to correct electrolyte (sugar/salt) imbalances.

If you feel unwell and/or have diarrhoea, avoid preparing food or drinks for others until you are well and free of symptoms.

Get medical help if your symptoms are severe or prolonged [3].

When you return

If you have any symptoms, such diarrhoea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach pains and sometimes vomiting, get medical help. Let your nurse, doctor/health professional know you travelled abroad recently, and remember to tell them every country you visited.

Advice for health professionals

In returned travellers with gastrointestinal symptoms, consider Salmonella Enteritidis, as well as other bacterial and viral causes of gastrointestinal infection, or more rarely protozoan parasites.

Testing should be arranged through local microbiology laboratories and positive cases reported to your local health protection team in England, Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland.

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