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How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Winter Park, Florida
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How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Hi. I really really want to go on vacation to the Riviera Maya, specifically Akumal. However, years ago when I vacationed in Cancun I ended up with stomach issues that lasted weeks after I was back in the US. I just polled a girlfriend of mine that vacationed to the Riviera Maya a couple of years ago with several families. I asked her if they had stomach problems and she said that they all did. Ugh! Is there no way to avoid the stomach issues when traveling to Mexico? It is hard to plan a vacation knowing that you are going to be sick at some level.

45 replies to this topic
Nottingham, United...
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for Sharm El Sheikh
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31. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Luck of the draw! We’ve never had any sickness in 6 visits over 3 years. We have ice in drinks, eat fruit and salads in the restaurants. We do wash hands regularly especially before eating and drinking and use hand gel before entering the buffets. Wash teeth with and drink bottled water as supplied in the rooms. Try to be sensible on sun exposure and keep hydrated as we are from the U.K. so are not used to strong sun and heat. We keep the A/C on on the room and around 17 degrees day and night. Works for us so far, next trip is in 2 weeks.

Charleston, South...
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32. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Thank you Jersey Lynn. Glad you had a great trip. Hope you do a trip report.

Edmonton, Canada
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33. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Hardly anybody mentions the immune system, keeping your own system strong. A good diet keeps your immune system strong enough to fight everything from Montezuma to cancer. A vacation diet often does the opposite.

Super Immunity by Fuhrman is an excellent book.

Baltimore, Maryland
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3,336 posts
6 reviews
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34. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

I bring my own liquid hand soap and little disposal cups.

San Rafael...
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543 posts
15 reviews
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35. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

19 trips, that's about 300 "person days" in Mexico with 5 different people, spanning a wide variety of accommodations and food choices, and no sicknesses at all, zero. Not suggesting this means it's risk-free, just another data point to balance against those who've had problems.

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21 reviews
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36. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

I too am a believer that it's not a Mexico thing (getting sick) but more of a personal thing.

Us and I would believe others especially from a Northern climate are indoors more, in our own personal spaces, then all of a sudden our bodies are put into a stress mode of air travel. Then there is less sleep because of excitement ,different sleeping areas, we are doing more and staying up later. Add a change of diet and more alcohol and it's not hard to believe the traveling public everywhere is at great risk of getting sick.

We often hear the jokes that people need to get back to work so they can rest up!

Saskatoon, Canada
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for Riviera Maya
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60 reviews
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37. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

The one trip I took the Dukoral oral vaccine (was actually for a trip to Kenya shortly before the trip to Mexico) I felt better, tummy-wise, than any other trip I've made to Mexico.

I usually feel a little 'off' most days, but have only been sick three times in 30+ trips, thankfully-so I don't do the Dukoral every trip. But for anyone prone to getting TD, I think it works great- and 90% plus of TD cases are caused by E.coli.

Americans unfortunately cannot get it but I read a similar TD/cholera oral vaccine that is going to be available in the US or already is? Not sure though....and not sure about the UK.

ETA: I personally feel getting TD is more common in developing countries due to sewage problems, ocean contamination, poor health practices in some restaurants perhaps....I was just in Europe for almost ten days and felt perfect the whole time...

Edited: 20 October 2017, 23:07
Seattle, Washington
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38. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Dukoral has been recognized by the WHO as effective for cholera prevention, but it is not available in the US. It can be obtained by prescription in the E.U. and without prescription in Mexico and (I think) Canada.

Dukoral only been conclusively shown to be effective for prevention of cholera, but since it includes components of the V. cholera enterotoxin, it has been tried as a preventive for travelers' diarrhea, which is often caused by strains of E. coli that secrete this toxin. The vaccine is marketed for prevention of travelers' diarrhea in Canada but is not recognized for this purpose in the E.U. Although early studies indicated that immunization against the cholera enterotoxin was effective as a preventive for travelers to Morocco and Bangladesh, a subsequent trial showed no benefit among Americans visiting Mexico, and a comprehensive review of the topic concluded that there was insufficient evidence to warrant its use for this purpose.

In summary, despite strong beliefs to the contrary, there is scant scientific evidence to support using Dukoral for this purpose.

near Chicago
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39. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

We have been to the Riviera Maya between 50-60 times. (I lost count.) I got sick once and my husband got sick once. Each sickness occurred at highly rated but different resorts. My husband required a doctor and I required a short stay in the hospital.

From the experience of two people, I'd say the chance of getting sick are slim. But, from my experience, I can tell you that the sickness is real. We did not eat, drink or do anything else differently on the trips where we got ill than on the other numerous trips to the RM we took.

Denver, Colorado
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40. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

My experience, like the others on this thread, is anecdotal. I have been to Mexico 5 times and gotten sick twice, once was quite significantly sick for multiple days and the other was definitely no fun either but was milder. Both of these were in areas other than the Riviera Maya (been there twice and was fine both times). I am ultra careful with what I eat or drink and with hygiene and how food is washed. Despite that caution and despite ramping up the caution even more during the most recent trip to Quintana Roo since I took my kids along for the first time, my youngest got severely sick. He did tell me he accidentally got some shower water in his mouth but spit it out and that he accidentally got a swallow of ocean water as he was snorkeling but otherwise I can't think of anything that was an obvious risk. We were ultra careful with food and drink. He had very high fever, dehydration, severe headache, stomach pain, and vomiting. I won't sugar coat it; he was so terribly sick it was scary. We called a doctor who did house calls and felt no better about things after having him seen. Happened near the end of our visit and I was beyond relieved to get home, at which time he had begun to improve without further medical intervention. On the flip side, none of the rest of us on the trip got sick. No idea of whether this was even related to being in Mexico specifically but whatever bug he had was viciously nasty; scared me enough that I am not sure I would enjoy any future trip back, at least with the kids, because I would spend the trip worrying about a repeat of the illness. That said, lots of people visit the area with no major problems....and it really was fun up until the time he got sick.

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