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Vicioustom

Question about water for medical types.

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I'm terrifyingly aware of the dangers that can lurk in "raw" water around the world. I'm somewhat curious about a mechanic that I encountered in Afghanistan when I and my team members ran out of water and had resupply delayed by several weeks. We ended up turning to the local water supply. We'd been made aware of how terrible the natural water quality but were left with few options.

 

We boiled the water, and treated it with chlorine bleach off the local economy. We'd been told that purifying like this had little effect on the water, but it was all we had the means for. Everyone else got the, pardon my french, "Screaming Shits" as we called it, I don't know what the exact cause was since there was a plethora of nasty, vicious things in the water that pretty much had the same effect, or so we were briefed.

 

The sicker they got the more water we needed to put into them, the sicker they got etc.. until we couldn't keep up with our rudimentary water purification. So I had taken to drinking the local water "raw" to try to keep as much processed fluid available for my brothers as possible. I suffered only minor discomfort while everyone else was in horrendous misery. We managed to keep everyone manageable with I.V. fluids supplementing oral water, and Ciperol, which was in very short supply along with the I.V's

 

I was the only one that wasn't so debilitated, not to say I was unscathed, but I only had a slight... I'll call it softening, so minor I wouldn't have noticed if it wasn't for everyone else condition. I ate the local food often, despite the dangers, I was in good physical condition, and had drank "raw" water from a lot of sources in North America in the past. The only other difference was that I was taking Doxycycline daily, while everyone else was taking Mefloquine as an anti malarial.

 

When we finally got medical support a few months later I'd asked a visiting P.A. about it and she didn't have any answers. I was wondering if any of the medical types on here can explain how I managed to come out of it mostly unscathed while everyone else bodies were trying to turn inside out from either end.

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Hi,

 

Amazing how the bugs in the water were so resistant to boiling and bleach, together you should have been good...

 

It's a matter of getting used to the organisms in the local water. Some organisms like Giardia, however, will give your diarrheal disease no matter what. Consider having some metronidazole (Fish-Zole is the veterinary equivalent) in your medical supplies. Bird-Biotic (Doxycycline) is another useful drug to have on hand.

 

Dr. Bones

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Hi,

 

Amazing how the bugs in the water were so resistant to boiling and bleach, together you should have been good...

 

It's a matter of getting used to the organisms in the local water. Some organisms like Giardia, however, will give your diarrheal disease no matter what. Consider having some metronidazole (Fish-Zole is the veterinary equivalent) in your medical supplies. Bird-Biotic (Doxycycline) is another useful drug to have on hand.

 

Dr. Bones

 

Do you think it may have been the Doxycycline i was taking daily? I know that stuff will take care of alot of infectious agents, just wasn't sure if it could help protect you from water and food born stuff too.

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Is it possible that there was some sort of chemical in the water that caused the irritation? That would explain why the boiling and bleach didn't seem to help. It doesn't really explain why you were ok with the Doxycycline unless you were already "aclimated" to the chemicals from the local food you mentioned...

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(1) You were taking one of the drugs Doc recommended and (2) you had been eating the local foods. I feel sure the guys who were in Nam could relate a few stories of guys who moved in with their girl friends huoch and started eating the local grub. Cleans you out until the bacteria in your gut adjusts to the new food source.

 

If there was enough chlorine left in the water, you very likely killed off the bacteria that was in their gut....a sure way to increase the "trots" as will over dose of antibiotics.

Edited by Partsman

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