Many of us have experienced it – that violently upset stomach that invades your exotic dream holiday and generally saps the energy out of you and the fun out of your vacation.
But now it seems the days of the famed “Delhi belly” or “travellers tummy” could be all but over, with the announcement of a new vaccine in pill form, which will help to protect tourists against the bacteria that can bring on the illness.
Stomach upsets affect around 10 million travellers every year, and afflict around half of all international travellers at some point in their travels. It is most common in visitors flying to India and other destinations, with India being the most well known destination to wreak havoc on the digestive system of its visitors, evidenced by the city that gave Delhi belly its name.
The breakthrough has come from scientists at the University of Cambridge. Professor Nigel Slater of the university’s department of chemical engineering and biotechnology said that clinical trials were planned for later this year.
The vaccine targets bacteria that can affect travellers – E. coli and Salmonella, two main causes of Delhi belly and typhoid. Slater believes this could be a major development for travellers, and believes it should be easy to administer the vaccine. He said, “if you were going away for a holiday or on business to India or another country where these diseases are known you would just need to swallow a capsule.”
There is real hope then, that as the trials continue, this could mean the end of those dodgy holiday stomachs that have struck down so many in the past.