The latest travel threat the CDC is warning about is super gross

You’re either a person who brings wet wipes and hand sanitizer with you when you travel, or you just leave it to the gods and go about your business. Whether you’re hoping for the best or cleaning every surface as best you can, we’re going to add one more thing to be afraid of when you travel. According to the CDC travel guidelines, there’s a new big reason that will make you reconsider your vacation plans (or at least be more vigilant about washing your hands).

What to look out for

There’s a CDC travel advisory for a drug-resistant bacterium called XDR Shigella, and no, it’s not as fun to have as it says. Shigellosis cases have been tracked at a growing rate that is alarming to the CDC.

In 2022, the total number of reported cases of the drug-resistant species was 5%, and while that may seem low, the scary part is that you only have to go back to 2015 to see those cases at 0%.

What is it

This acute intestinal infection usually affects young children (under the age of four), but a worrying part is that it is now spreading to certain groups of adults and is spreading quickly.


  • Diarrhea
  • Possible inflammatory and bloody diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever

Why this bacterium is so bad

It’s spreading fast

Another downside to this bacterium, and why it’s so concerning, is how easily it spreads. We’ve all seen this episode before.

  • Touch contaminated surfaces and then your face
  • Drink contaminated water
  • Eating contaminated food
  • Through sexual contact with an infected person
  • Through feces, like the diaper of an infected child
  • Taking care of someone who is infected
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It’s drug resistant

Of the 450,000 reported cases of this bacterium, a whopping 77,000 cases of the infection were drug-resistant. You’ll have to play the waiting game with this one to get better, and we all know how abysmal that is.

How to stay healthy

If you haven’t already loaded your car, home and office with hand sanitizer, the rest of us are catching up. Here’s what the CDC says to do:

wash your hands

The most important way to keep yourself and others healthy is to wash your hands. Washing yourself properly before and after activities and not touching your face during activities is the name of the game. Soap and Water, People, Soap and Water.

When you travel, do these extra things

  • Stay away from tap water
  • Don’t drink unpasteurized milk
  • Say no to ice in your drinks
  • Avoid uncooked vegetables and fruits
  • We’re sorry, but keep walking past those street vendors

As with any illness, if you feel like you’re getting worse, aren’t getting better, or the symptoms of this illness – particularly the bloody diarrhea – last longer than three days, see a doctor.

While staycations are the best, we don’t want to make everyone stay at home. There’s always something to worry about when traveling, no matter where you travel, right? If you are planning a trip in the near future, make sure you take all the precautions and measures to stay healthy so you don’t spend all your time in the bathroom.

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