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Holiday Sickness Claims: Travel Claims for Gastroenteritis - Dr Mark Burgin

20/02/19. Dr. Mark Burgin BM BCh (oxon) MRCGP explains how the medical expert assesses a claimant who states that they have suffered from travel related gastroenteritis.

Gastrointestinal problems can occur because of viruses, toxic elements of food and bacteria as well as several rarer causes and pre-existing causes in the medical records.

Few cases have any microbiological evidence or evidence of an outbreak so the expert cannot determine the likely origin or type of the agent involved.

Outbreaks are when a good proportion of the exposed travellers all develop the same symptoms at more or less the same time.

The incubation time of some infections means that they could have been acquired prior to travel or whilst visiting the local sites.

An expert assessing Holiday Sickness Claims can be under intense pressure to give a positive report and these cases should be scrutinised by audits.

Viral illness

Viruses typically present with rapid onset of vomiting and or diarrhoea with a temperature and a resolution over 24 hours with perhaps a week for full recovery.

Many viral infections are passed by fomites...

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