International travelers can be at risk for a variety of infectious and non-infectious diseases. Travelers may acquire parasitic illnesses:

  • through ingestion of contaminated food or water,
  • by vector-borne transmission, or
  • through person-to-person contact.

Contaminated food and drink are common sources for the introduction of infection into the body. The table below shows some of the more common parasitic infections that travelers can acquire from contaminated food and drink, as well as a few of the less common parasitic diseases that travelers are at risk for acquiring. The risk of acquiring these other protozoa and helminths varies greatly by region of the world and specific country. Many infectious diseases transmitted in food and water can also be acquired directly through the fecal-oral route.

Parasitic Illnesses That Can Be Acquired During Travel*

From Contaminated Food and Water

More Common
Less Common

 From Vector-borne Transmission

More Common
Less Common

*This list is not comprehensive.

Page last reviewed: April 20, 2018