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Survey Reveals Majority of Canadians Could Unintentionally "Flush" Away their Vacation Dollars This Year

- Canadians' lack of knowledge about travellers' diarrhea could result in a loss of more than $350 a day per vacationer -

TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - This year, about 3.5 million Canadians will plan a tropical vacation to Mexico or the Caribbean,1,2 yet the results of a survey by Leger Marketing indicate many "flush" away valuable vacation time and money because they're vulnerable to travellers' diarrhea, a common but preventable medical condition.  Despite their best intentions, up to 98 per cent of Canadian travellers may make a food or water mistake within the first three days of their vacation.3  Up to one-in-five vacationers who contract travellers' diarrhea are bed-ridden for an entire day,4 and its symptoms can last up five days5.  Since 40 per cent of Canadians spent $1,000 to $2,500 on their last vacation, contracting the illness could result in a loss of up to over $350 per day for those who spent $2,500 on a week-long trip.

"No matter when or where they've travelled, Canadians may be surprised to learn that the bacteria that causes travellers' diarrhea can be contracted from many common sources encountered during their vacations," said Dr. Jay Keystone, Canadian physician specializing in travel health.  "Travellers' diarrhea can be prevented, so Canadians must learn how to protect themselves before they depart for destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean, which are high-risk locations for contracting the disease."

"Flushing Out" Canadians' Travel Smarts
The survey indicates that not all Canadians are savvy about the potential sources of the bacteria that cause travellers' diarrhea.  Bacterial pathogens, which include enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) bacteria, are thought to cause the majority (80 per cent) of travellers' diarrhea cases.6  Sources of ETEC bacteria can include poorly cooked meat, contaminated raw vegetables, unpasteurized dairy products and water.7  No food group can be regarded as "safe".8

According to the survey, 77 per cent of those Canadians who experienced travellers' diarrhea know that ice cubes in a drink are a potential source of the bacteria that causes the illness, but interestingly, only two per cent think tap water presents the same risk. 9

Knowledge about the risks for contracting the bacteria also varies between provinces.  Those surveyed from Quebec and the Prairies correctly identified consuming vegetables washed with tap water as a risk (71 per cent and 68 per cent*, respectively), ice cubes in a drink (67 per cent and 58 per cent*) and unpeeled fruit (37 per cent and 53 per cent*) as sources of ETEC bacteria.1 However, those surveyed from Atlantic Canada and Alberta were less likely to identify these risks, and identified consuming vegetables washed with tap water (49 per cent and 43 per cent*, respectively), ice cubes in a drink (36 per cent and 34 per cent*) and unpeeled fruit (35 per cent and 31 per cent*) as sources of bacteria.11

Don't Take Chances with Your Vacation Dollars the Next Time You Travel!
To keep your vacation pesos in your pockets, Canadians planning a getaway should remember these tips for preventing travellers' diarrhea:

  1. Up Your Water IQ: Tap water can contain the bacteria that can cause travellers' diarrhea.  This includes the water you brush your teeth with.12
  2. Ensure the Cuisine is Clean: Cook it, boil it, peel it - or leave it!  According to the survey, many travellers are unaware that some sources of bacteria that cause travellers' diarrhea include slushy cocktails, unpeeled fruit and raw seafood.13
  3. Before You Leave, Visit a Healthcare Professional:  As you plan your trip to Mexico or the Caribbean, speak with a travel health expert or healthcare professional specializing in travel health about ways to protect against travellers' diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E. coli bacteria.14
  4. No Travel Buddy Left Behind: Make sure your friends and family are also protected from travellers' diarrhea before travelling so they don't lose valuable vacation time and money.

"Although it's critical that vacationers follow these tips, it's important to remember that up to 98 per cent of travellers make food or water mistakes within the first three days of their vacation.15 Reduce the risk of letting travellers' diarrhea ruin your vacation time by visiting a travel health expert or healthcare professional before you leave," said Dr. Keystone.  "One option for travellers to consider is Dukoral®, which will help protect against travellers' diarrhea.  Dukoral® is available with or without a prescription, in a two-dose schedule, with the first at least two weeks before departure."16

About Travellers' Diarrhea
Travellers' diarrhea is a common medical condition characterized by the sudden onset of symptoms including fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.17  It affects up to one-half of travellers who visit Mexico, the Caribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Eastern or Southern Europe during a two-week stay.18,19  The condition is caused by bacteria found in contaminated food and/or transmitted by water.2  Bacterial enteropathogens, such as ETEC, are thought to cause approximately 80 per cent of cases.21

About Dukoral®
Dukoral® is an oral, inactivated vaccine indicated for the prevention of and protection against travellers' diarrhea and/or cholera in adults and children two years of age and older who will be visiting areas where there is a risk of contracting travellers' diarrhea caused by ETEC bacteria, or cholera caused by V. cholerae.22    Dukoral® induces the body to make antibodies against the bacteria and toxins, strengthening the body's own defense system.  The liquid Dukoral® vaccine is added to the mixture of water and the powder that is provided with the vaccine, and is taken orally. Protection from ETEC diarrhea and cholera can be expected about one week after the primary immunization series is completed.23

Important Safety Information
Dukoral® is intended to help prevent travellers' diarrhea caused by ETEC and/or cholera in adults and children two years of age and older. It does not treat travellers' diarrhea once it develops. Not everyone who gets vaccinated will be fully protected; therefore, precautions to avoid contaminated food or water should be taken. Side effects may include gastrointestinal upsets, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and allergic reactions may occur. Visit www.DukoralCanada.com for complete information.

About Crucell Vaccines N.V.
Crucell Vaccines N.V. (Crucell) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on research development, production and marketing of vaccines, proteins and antibodies that prevent and/or treat infectious diseases.  In 2010 alone, Crucell distributed more than 105 million vaccine doses in more than 100 countries around the world. Crucell is one of the major suppliers of vaccines to UNICEF and the developing world.  Products in Crucell's core portfolio include a fully-liquid pentavalent vaccine, Quinvaxem®, a vaccine against hepatitis B and a virosome-adjuvanted vaccine against influenza.  Crucell also markets travel vaccines, such as an oral anti-typhoid vaccine, an oral cholera vaccine and the only aluminum-free hepatitis A vaccine on the market.  For more information, please visit www.Crucell.com.

About the "State of Vacation: Canadians' Perspectives on Travellers' Diarrhea" Survey
The "State of Vacation: Canadians' Perspectives on Travellers' Diarrhea" survey, conducted by Leger Marketing from Friday, October7, to Tuesday, October 11, 2011, included an online poll of 1,001 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.  The survey was commissioned by Crucell Vaccines N.V.24
*denotes small base size

For more information, please visit www.DukoralCanada.com.

References:


1 Government of Canada.  Accessed October 30, 2012. http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/report_rapport-eng.asp?id=184000
2 Canadian Traveller.  Accessed October 30, 2012.  http://www.canadiantraveller.net/360-First_ACTS_In_The_Caribbean
3 Kozicki M, Steffen R, Schär M. 'Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it': does this rule prevent travellers' diarrhoea? Int J Epidemiol 1985;14:169-172.
4 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Statement on New Oral Cholera and Travellers' Diarrhea Vaccination.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/05vol31/asc-dcc-7/index-eng.php
5 Health Link BC.  Travellers' Diarrhea and Cholera.  Accessed November 1, 2012. http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile41k.stm.
6 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Statement on New Oral Cholera and Travellers' Diarrhea Vaccination.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/05vol31/asc-dcc-7/index-eng.php
7 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Statement on New Oral Cholera and Travellers' Diarrhea Vaccination.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/05vol31/asc-dcc-7/index-eng.php
8 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Statement on New Oral Cholera and Travellers' Diarrhea Vaccination.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/05vol31/asc-dcc-7/index-eng.php
9 State of Vacation:  Canadians Perspectives on Travellers' Diarrhea.  Leger Marketing.  October 2011. Slide 9.
10 State of Vacation:  Canadians Perspectives on Travellers' Diarrhea.  Leger Marketing.  October 2011. Slide 9.
11 State of Vacation:  Canadians Perspectives on Travellers' Diarrhea.  Leger Marketing.  October 2011. Regional Results.
12 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Travellers' Diarrhea.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/info/diarrhea-eng.php
13State of Vacation:  Canadians Perspectives on Travellers' Diarrhea.  Leger Marketing.  October 2011.
14 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Travellers' Diarrhea.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/info/diarrhea-eng.php
15 Kozicki M, Steffen R, Schär M. 'Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it': does this rule prevent travellers' diarrhoea? Int J Epidemiol 1985;14:169-172.
16DUKORAL® Product Monograph 2011.
17 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Travellers' Diarrhea.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/info/diarrhea-eng.php
18 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Travellers' Diarrhea.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/05vol31/asc-dcc-7/index-eng.php
19 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Statement on New Oral Cholera and Travellers' Diarrhea Vaccination.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/info/diarrhea-eng.php
20 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Statement on New Oral Cholera and Travellers' Diarrhea Vaccination.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/05vol31/asc-dcc-7/index-eng.php
21 Public Health Agency of Canada.  Statement on New Oral Cholera and Travellers' Diarrhea Vaccination.  Accessed September 21, 2011.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/05vol31/asc-dcc-7/index-eng.php
22 DUKORAL® Product Monograph 2011.
23 DUKORAL® Product Monograph 2011.
24 State of Vacation:  Canadians Perspectives on Travellers' Diarrhea.  Leger Marketing.  October 2011.


SOURCE Crucell Vaccines N.V.

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