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It's the thought of lying on that sandy white beach with nothing to do for 14 days that makes the other 50 weeks spent scrimping and saving worth while. But as thousands of British holiday makers have found to their cost it only takes one bug to have the dream holiday ruined -- instead of spending days lazing on a beach they have to take to their beds either during or after their holiday.

"When you visit a new environment you're exposed t strains of bacteria and infections you've never encountered and to which you have no natural defence "according to Dr. Nick Beeching, lecturer in infectious diseases at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

While stomach upsets are probably the most common ailment the next in line is the common cold, coughs and even flu. Researchers in California found a fifth of all their passengers catch cold during their flight largely due to recycled air which tends to spread infections throughout the aircraft cabin.

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