A few months ago, my wife and I took a cruise to Mexico. Everything was fine until after eating a couple of beany type meals on the mainland. While we all get diarhea every now and then, Mexican diarhea takes the cake. My butt exploded worse than the streets of Beirut. My question is why aren't the cruise ship medical areas better equipped to handle people who suffer from the same consequenses as myself? Immodium (Extra Strength) didn't make a dent. I paid $2100 for the cruise and all the doctor on board told me to do was to drink Schwepps Ginger Ale. Gee thanks Doc! Needless to say my trip was ruined and so were several pair of underwear. Can anyone offer me some advice?
Might sound dumb but, NEVER eat anything in Mexico unless you know where the food comes from. I would never eat in Mexico unless the resturant or Bar was very highly recommended by someone I knew well. Water is probably the biggest problem and most food is cook with water or dishes are washed in water. So next time never eat off ship.
Most of the doctors are now recommending Pepto Bismal. Immodium only helps keep everything in the digestive tract longer, which increases the discomfort. We prefer to eat onboard also, we have already paid for it. We just don't trust food or water on land.
Having travelled to 31 countries in my 20 years in the USAF, I can tell you firsthand to never drink any water outside the US except bottled water. It is not that other countries do not treat their water, most do. It is that there are strains of bacteria that are different from those that our bodies are used to dealing with at home. On my trips to Turkey, everyone would have diarreah or some stomach problem for the first 2 weeks or so. After that we were accustomed and did ot have any more problems. Of course we were drinking bottled water, but these problems were caused by the food on base. Again, the food and water were not the problem, just different strains of bacteria that are not found here. Darwinism in action.
I recollect that about ten years ago a study was made by 600 students from a California Medical school. 300 of the strudents for one week drank the water. The other 300 eat local vegetable. There were practically no students that got sick from drinking the water. Of the 300 students who ate vegetables, about 60% got sick.
While this was not a truly scientific study, there have been other studies reporting a high incident of illness from eating locally grown Mexican vegetable.
On the other hand, today in S. California, probably a large percentage of the vegetables sold in the local supermarkets comes from Mexico.
Ironic as it may seem, the Mexicans do not suffer from the same illness as reported. On the other hand several years ago a large number of passengers came down diarrhea-ala the Rotay Caribbean Cruise Line Viking Serande .
Any seasoned traveler should know this is a major concern especially with travel to Mexico. I hear of people getting sick and have no idea how because they were so careful about eating and drinking, but you knowingly ate while there? Didn't you take any precautions before hand like coating your stomach with some Pepto or other anti-diahrreah type meds?
Well, I was in the USAF, on a USAF base, eating in a USAF dining facility. Anytime you go to a foreign country you encounter strains of bacteria that are different from those your body is used to at home. It makes no difference how "clean" the food is or how it is prepared. After a couple of weeks your body adjusts to the new strains and can deal with them. The problem is that most people don't stay in any one area long enough to get through the adjusting period. Then they are off to another location with even more different strains of bacteria. Bacteria covers every surface and you come into contact with it everywhere. One thing that I always travel with is a bottle of hand sanitizer. It is better than washing with soap. Having travelled to 31 countries I have eaten many different kinds of food and seldom gotten anything worse than a case of diarrhea that the clinic was able to take care of. Bottom line, keep your hands clean, drink bottled water, soft drinks, or beer, and you will avoid those problems.
Even water in Canada has bacteria in it. Strains of bacteria that people not from that area can have problems with unless the water is treated. Most countries treat their water to kill bacteria. However, there is always some bacteria in every drop of water, no matter where it is from or how it is treated. The "cleanest" water is water that has been distilled. Untreated water can be extremely dangerous, it can contain anything from basic bacteria that only causes diarhea (sp) to listeria, bacteria that causes explosive diarhea for 6 weeks, then goes dormant for approx. 6 months and cycles again. Unless treated immediately, listeria will be with you for life. Yes, before you ask, listeria is also found in Canada too. It is encountered whenever dead animals fall into rivers or lakes and decay, drinking water downstream from any carcass or from any lake near a dead carcass is sure to bring it on. Thats why you boil any water that you drink from any river or lake. The water in Canada still needs to be treated as it is no "cleaner" than anywhere else in the world. Bacteria know no borders......
Of course water here has the same things the water in the US has BUT in Canada, there really is no need to drink bottled water unless you want to.(Even if you're visiting) Also please keep in mind that many bottled waters are merely bottled municipal water and has not been distilled. You need to read the fine print on the label to ensure you are getting spring water or distilled water.
There is no need to drink bottled water here in the US either, unless one wants to. Municiple water has been treated and is perfectly safe. I do not drink bottled water here, but I certainly do when in other countries such as Mexico, or in the middle east.
To Cruisenut: With all due respect.. and no offence to those who live in Nevada.. but whenever we've travelled to Las Vegas.. the tap water there is terrible! After my first taste.. went straight to bottled water. Even a couple of local folk told us they don't even drink the water.. it taste's bad. It probably won't do anything 'diarrhea wise' to you.. if you can get past the taste. Canadian water is among the freshest you can find. But I agree.. if bacteria is there.. it's there.. no matter if you live in Toledo or Toronto. As for Mexico.. the only way I'd ever go there would be on a cruise.. I'd be sure the food on board was safe to eat. Like anything, moderation is the key.