Verrell Bramasta was rushed to the hospital. In his Instagram Story post, Verrell admitted to having Bali Belly while on vacation in Bali. “Bali belly,” he wrote in the Instagram Story caption as seen by detikcom on Thursday (2/2/2023). So far, the exact cause of Verrell’s Bali Belly is unknown. However, this condition is often associated with food consumption.
What is Bali Belly Verrell?
According to Puri Medical Clinic, literally Bali Belly comes from English which means ‘Bali Belly’. This term is often used to describe food poisoning symptoms, such as diarrhea or vomiting. In addition, the symptoms that arise from this condition are accompanied by loss of appetite, bloated stomach, fever, and stomach cramps.
Usually, Bali Belly is caused by viruses that exist in contaminated food and water. From the identification results, the viruses that cause such incidents are Rotavirus and Norovirus. In addition, it can also be caused by bacterial infections such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter that can contaminate food.
This condition is often experienced by tourists visiting Bali. In addition to Bali Belly, there are also other terms that have similar meanings, such as Delhi Belly or Montezuma’s Revenge.
Symptoms of Bali Belly
Founder of Femma and a doctor in Australia, Dr. Emma Rees, said that Bali Belly is caused by bacteria that are swallowed from contaminated food or water. Bali Belly symptoms can last up to five days. “You may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, hot and cold sweats, and joint pain,” Rees said, as quoted by NZ Herald on Thursday (2/2). “Headaches are also a possible symptom and this can indicate dehydration, which is the main clinical risk of traveling diarrhea,” she continued.
A Common Disease
According to Dr. Rees, Bali Belly or traveler’s diarrhea is a very common disease. This condition is experienced by about half or one-third of tourists. In 2022, medical teams from Cover-More travel insurance company assisted 1,174 Australian tourists who contracted gastroenteritis, of which 112 were from Bali. This number is lower than what happened in 2016, which was as many as 1,457 Australian tourists.
Different cases occur, with some being more severe that may require medical treatment or hospitalization, cancellations, and additional accommodation costs. “In 2022, the cost of 1,174 medical cases was more than USD 3.5 million, averaging around USD 3,000 per case, compared to USD 400, more than double. So, it is very important to have good travel insurance to cover these unplanned and painful expenses,” said Cover-More Travel Insurance’s Executive Director, Todd Nelson.
“While the number of food poisoning cases is lower than in 2016, it is likely a combination of fewer tourists and better personal hygiene habits due to COVID and hopefully, improvements in food handling practices,” Nelson said.
Nelson said that cases of gastroenteritis in Indonesia are not too high. It is possible that tourists can experience food poisoning in other countries such as Thailand, Spain, the United States (US), and Canada.
Happening in Many Countries
Cover-More’s doctor, Dr. Stephen Rashford, said that high traveler’s diarrhea cases occur in Peru. The incidence of gastroenteritis has actually increased fourfold in that country.
“Peru is consistently rated as the most likely country to contract gastroenteritis, with an average of 2% of tourists making claims each year,” Rashford explained.
This condition often occurs in travelers, especially in countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Therefore, it is recommended to ensure that the water consumed has been filtered.
“Avoid ice because it can be made from contaminated water, as well as salads and fruits that may have been washed with contaminated water,” said Dr. Rees.
“If possible, wash these items again with bottled water or filtered water. Avoid buffets with food placed outside in moderate conditions as food can warm up to the optimal temperature for bacteria to replicate. Make sure you eat and drink in places that have a good reputation,” she continued.
How to Cure Bali Belly? Dr. Rees suggests that people who experience Bali Belly symptoms rest, drink regularly, and ensure that the water they use or consume is clean. If the symptoms worsen, such as experiencing pain or blood in the stool, it is recommended to see a doctor immediately.
“It is advisable to make sure you have travel insurance to cover local medical costs if necessary. If you cannot obtain fluids, you also need to seek medical professionals,” said Dr. Rees.
“We also need to ensure that our enthusiasm to experience different places and cultures does not make us forget about hand hygiene and the risk of bacterial infection with different food hygiene practices,” she added.